NewsNumber of dead after police operation in Rio rises...

Number of dead after police operation in Rio rises to 28

It is the police operation with the most deaths in the history of Rio: 28 people die – most of them are said to have been involved in drug deals. Relatives of victims protested.

Rio de Janeiro (AP) – After one of the bloodiest police operations in the history of the Brazilian metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, the number of deaths has increased to 28. This was reported by the Brazilian media, citing the police on Friday evening.

According to this, 27 suspects and an officer of the anti-drug unit were killed in the fierce fighting between alleged members of drug gangs and the police in the Jacarezinho favela.

All suspects were involved in drug deals, said the police secretary Allan Turnowski at the funeral of the killed officer. According to “G1”, three of the suspects were charged by the public prosecutor’s office with drug trafficking and were wanted by the police. The investigation indicates that they are involved in organized crime in the poor district in northern Rio.

It had previously been reported that at least 25 people, including 24 suspects, were killed in the fighting on Thursday, during which gunfire and explosions could be heard. According to the news agency “Agência Brasil”, three other people died in the hospital from their injuries.

According to the news portal “G1”, which analyzed information from the state university UFF and the app “Fogo Cruzado” (crossfire), which collects data on armed violence, this was the police operation with the most deaths in the history of Rio de Janeiro. Last July, the Supreme Court in Brasília suspended police operations in favelas during the corona pandemic. These are only allowed in “absolute exceptional cases”.

Activists, local residents and relatives of victims protested at a rally in Jacarezinho demanding justice. They remembered those who had been killed with candles, and many wept. The governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Claudio Castro, defended the operation. “The state government is most interested in clearing up the circumstances of the events in Jacarezinho,” said Castro. Police officers are rarely investigated or prosecuted.

The Jacarezinho favela is one of the bases of the “Comando Vermelho” (Red Command) in northern Rio. Powerful criminal syndicates such as the “Comando Vermelho” and a number of smaller gangs are wrestling in the slums to control drug trafficking and protection money. The violence spills over and over to other parts of Rio and hits bystanders.

In no other country in the world are so many people killed in police operations as in Brazil. In 2019, security forces killed 5,804 people in the South American country, according to a violence monitor operated by “G1”, the Brazilian Forum for Public Security and the University of São Paulo. For comparison: In 2019, police officers shot 1,098 people in the USA, and 14 people were killed by officers in Germany.

The conditions and working conditions of the police in Europe cannot be compared with those in Brazil: Many poor areas are controlled by heavily armed drug gangs. Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourão compared the situation to a war: the police had gone out to execute arrest warrants related to the exploitation of minors for drug trafficking. At the entrance, a police officer was shot in the head by a bandit.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210508-99-516318 / 3

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