Brazil­ian troops launch anti-crime op­er­a­tions in Rio slums

Muscat Daily - - WORLD - AFP

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Heav­ily armed Brazil­ian army troops and po­lice launched a pre-dawn crack­down on Satur­day on gangs op­er­at­ing out of slums across Rio de Janeiro, fol­low­ing a steep rise in crime.

Five fave­las were tar­geted by the com­bined forces in a swoop that started in the early hours, the Rio state se­cu­rity ser­vice said in a state­ment. Their main goal was to stop gangs be­hind a surge in brazen rob­beries of com­mer­cial trucks.

Brazil’s Globo tele­vi­sion showed footage of sol­diers search­ing res­i­dents in the fave­las and driv­ing down streets in ar­moured per­son­nel car­ri­ers.

Of­fi­cials said the fave­las were Lins, Ca­marista Meier, Mor­ros de Sao Joao and En­genho Novo in the north and Co­vanca in the west.

“The armed forces are re­spon­si­ble for the perime­ters in some of th­ese re­gions and based at strate­gic points,” the state se­cu­rity ser­vice said.

“Some roads are blocked and the airspace is re­stricted to civil­ian flights over the sec­tors where the armed forces are op- er­at­ing.” Rio’s air­ports, how­ever, were not af­fected.

The big crack­down on Rio’s heav­ily armed crim­i­nal gangs came ex­actly a year af­ter Pres­i­dent Michel Te­mer opened the Olympics.

Rio was the first South Amer­i­can city to host the Games and al­though the event passed off smoothly, a mix­ture of cor­rup­tion scan­dals, near col­lapse in the bud­get and crime has com­bined into a se­ri­ous hang­over for what should be one of Brazil's rich­est re­gions.


This file photo shows Brazil­ian po­lice of­fi­cers pa­trolling in one of the fave­las, in Rio de Janeiro on Novem­ber 20, 2016

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