HomeNewsBriefBrazil Police Kill ‘Drug Traffickers’ Following Favela Protest
BRIEF

Brazil Police Kill ‘Drug Traffickers’ Following Favela Protest

BRAZIL / 25 JUN 2013 BY MARIO CARRILLO EN

A security force operation in northern Rio de Janeiro has left eight people dead, as the country struggles to contain a popular uprising partly fueled by police brutality.

Monday’s violence came after residents of Favela Nova Holanda held a peaceful protest in Bonsucesso, during which criminals allegedly began looting and vandalizing local businesses, reported O Globo. When a Special Operations Battallion (BOPE) sergeant and a 35-year-old favela resident were killed, more than 400 military police and National Security Force troops moved in to search for the culprits, as EFE reports.

At least seven people were killed in the ensuing operation, five of whom police claimed were a band of drug dealers, as well as two favela residents. At least six people were injured.

InSight Crime Analysis

Monday’s violence stands in stark contrast to Rio security forces’ lauded Pacification Program, in which troops move into crime-controlled areas in carefully-planned and typically violence-free operations. Securing favelas without firing “a single shot” has been a source of pride for commanders.

Unfortunately, shooting people dead is the other face of Brazilian policing, and one which is very well-known. Indeed police abuses were one of the catalysts that turned protests against bus fare rises in Brazilian cities in recent weeks into a massive social uprising which has taken over the country and prompted President Dilma Rousseff to offer sweeping reforms. Police in Rio and São Paulo, Brazil’s two biggest cities, have killed 11,000 people in the last ten years – in 2008 one person was killed for every 23 arrested, compared to the US police average of one death per 37,000 people arrested.

Police also have a history of misreporting events surrounding deaths, meaning assertions surrounding those killed in Favela Nova Holanda should be treated with caution. US NGO Human Rights Watch documented in 2009 how Brazil police falsely labelled extrajudicial killings as “resistance killings” — where victims had been shot after allegedly firing on police.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

BRAZIL / 12 DEC 2014

Criminal groups in Latin America's Southern Cone are increasingly focused on feeding the region's domestic market for drugs, rather than…

BRAZIL / 7 JAN 2016

Alarming 2015 statistics on military police violence in São Paulo, Brazil, may yet spark renewed concerns over how police are being…

BRAZIL / 31 AUG 2012

According to a recent study, youth homicide has skyrocketed in Brazil over the past 30 years, growing by over 300…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…