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Rio slum raided ahead of World Cup (PHOTOS)

Published time: April 05, 2014 22:06
Brazilian soldiers patrol Ramos Favela — part of the Mare shantytown complex near the Galeao (Antonio Carlos Jobim) international airport — in the north suburb of Rio de Janeiro on April 5, 2014. (AFP Photo / Christophe Simon)

Brazilian soldiers patrol Ramos Favela — part of the Mare shantytown complex near the Galeao (Antonio Carlos Jobim) international airport — in the north suburb of Rio de Janeiro on April 5, 2014. (AFP Photo / Christophe Simon)

At least 2,000 soldiers raided a Rio de Janeiro slum using helicopters and armored personnel carriers in another attempt to boost security ahead of the World Cup. Raids have been taking place city-wide with the intention of ousting gangs.

The soldiers entered Mare – a renowned shanty town under the control of two rival drug gangs – on Saturday morning without firing a shot. The ‘favela,’ which is known for being one of the city’s most dangerous slum complexes, covers about 10 square kilometers and contains some 15 separate slums. The area is home to around 130,000 people.

"We are monitoring the area closely and patrolling will be constant," Major Alberto Horita told reporters on Saturday.

Residents take pictures in front of Brazilian Navy soldiers in an armoured vehicle during an operation in the Mare slums complex in Rio de Janeiro, April 5, 2014. (Reuters / Ricardo Moraes)

City authorities are seeking to make the city safer prior to the 2014 World Cup, which will kick off in June, and the 2016 Olympics. The first phase of the operation took place last Sunday when 1,000 policemen entered with soldiers and army backup. No shots were fired.

Army Gen. Ronaldo Lundgren and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed off on the use of force. The troops were “authorized to frisk and arrest people," Lundgren said, as quoted by Globo television network.

The military team is scheduled to remain in Mare until the end of July. A permanent police patrol post will then be set up.

Rousseff has the authority to order the troops to remain in the area for a longer period of time, if she deems it necessary.

A Brazilian Army soldier patrols the Mare slums complex in Rio de Janeiro, April 5, 2014. (Reuters / Ricardo Moraes)

The town’s location is a key security concern for authorities, as it is located along the highway to Galeao International Airport – which will receive tens of thousands of tourists as they arrive for the World Cup in a few months.

Brazilian forces have been pursuing the establishment of patrol posts to increase security in the country. Police have so far put up 37 posts under the pacification program, which was launched in 2008.

Police have been wary of entering the slum, as it has fallen under numerous attacks from drug kingpins who are thought to be ordering assaults on policemen. Four officers have already died in 2014, Reuters cited a spokesman for the pacification force as saying.

Comments (12)

 

LindaJames 06.04.2014 17:13

They used the Sochi Olympics against Russia, does anyone know if there is any reason to think they are trying to use the World Cup against Brazil?

 

joshua jackson 06.04.2014 13:44

Dilbert... You ask why its like that. Its because the occupants of the area want it that way. Simply put that is how they wish to live. Thats why it never changes, no matter how many times they sweep the area. The area dosnt make the people, the people make the area. If you took that whole group and put them in a nice niegborhood and come back and look a few years later, it would be the same. And from my observation, its not something taught, but an instinctual way of living. It goes on for generation, and i find it hard to believe that they "teach" there kids to be drug dealers and pimps. Lack of morals and ethics.

 

DoAskDoTell 06.04.2014 13:34

Brazil wants to join the Big "western wasteful &
Big corruption lifestyle"?
like World Cups/Olympic "Committees of Monopoly Multinationals Crooks"? LOL

It's expensive to get addicted to Big ruthless "drug pushers" at this late stage, let go of the 20th cen fantasies... LOL

Only solutions: "develop" cautiously and on your own style that fits more for your uniqueness. Remember that moderation is everything...

Enjoy your last splurge... LOL

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