The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Security forces invade Rio slums
MORETHAN 1,400 police off icers and Brazilian marines rolled into a massive complex of slums near Rio de Janeiro’s international airport before dawn yesterday in the latest security push ahead of this year’s World Cup.
Not a shot was fired as the Mare complex of 15 slums became the latest impoverished area to see security forces invade in an effort to push out heavily armed drug gangs that have ruled Rio’s shantytowns for decades.
In the coming days, army soldiers will begin patrolling the virtually treeless, flat area of about two square miles (five square kilometres) in northern Rio that hugs the main road to the airport and is home to about 130,000 people.
Security forces will eventually set up permanent posts in Mare as part of the “pacification” programme that began in 2008 and is meant to secure Rio ahead of the World Cup and also the 2016 summer Olympics.