Rio violence escalating, 23 dead

At least 23 people have been killed and 153 arrested in four days of clashes as Brazilian security forces crack down on drug gangs in Rio de Janeiro’s violent slums.

Heavily-armed men continued to stop cars and buses, rob passengers and set vehicles on fire, police said.

Military police said 15 suspected gang members died in shootouts with officers on Thursday.

Since the weekend, at least 23 people have died in clashes and two policemen have been wounded.

Gang-related violence has plagued Rio for decades, but is mostly centered on the city’s slums, known as favelas. But now it’s spilling onto the wealthier parts of town as drug traffickers are fighting back against police operations aimed at pacifying the slums.

“This is a desperate attempt to weaken our security efforts,” said Sergio Cabral, governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro.

“What they want is to create panic, for society to retreat, but we will not retreat.”

The escalating violence casts more doubt on the ability of Rio authorities to get a grip on security ahead of its hosting of two of the planet’s largest sporting events, the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics two years later.

“There are groups of criminals who have been installed here for 20, 30 years, and they might not want to give up,” said Rio state public safety director Jose Beltrame.

“But we’re not giving up either. If they keep this up, we will redouble our efforts. Anyone who gets in our path will be run over.”

The police have been heavily reinforced by the Brazilian government as more than 1,000 officers were removed from desk jobs to join the operations and 300 extra motorcycle police were on patrol making up a total of 17,500 officers to fight drug gangs.




2 mga puna (+add yours?)

  1. Luthgarda
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 10:12:17

    my god ! those 23 passengers who died , i thought it happen only here in the phil.


  2. Niecy
    Nov 26, 2010 @ 19:45:07

    It’s really a caos and unbearable to understand this situation. Part of these have to do with the society. If they did their job and created better public facilities like; health, schools, jobs and giving equal quality of living to everyone: Today certainly for sure, we’ll be in better shape. It is easy to say, let’s go kill all the bandits or traffieckers; then what will happen? They will creat better living to everyone in need in the hills and in the slums? I don’t think so. Things are that way for many years and who gave the heavy armament to the traffickers, who gave the drogs to the hills and slums to sell? Those who have free pass to other countries, certainly not the one without shoes (pe de chinelo). The society obviously, they closed their eyes and now accourding to them, they are victms. All Brazilian people are victms of the negligence. It really revolting my stomack and the demagogy really stinks…


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