The Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais or BOPE got people talking about it in Rio. This military police task force from the state of Rio never does anything, and they unfortunately proved it again this Tuesday in Brazil. A police operation again ended in bloodshed in the favela region north of Rio de Janeiro, killing at least 22 people, 10 suspects and a resident by a stray bullet on Tuesday, a year after the security forces raid. Which is the deadliest thing in the world. City history. Ten new bodies were found later in the day, but it was not known if these victims were among the suspects. Police said at least 11 victims were “suspects” and a slum dweller was wounded by a stray bullet.
“Another massacre. We cannot underestimate this, the state cannot enter the favela area and leave more than 20 dead bodies,” said David Gomez Lobo dos Santos, 32, a resident of Villa Cruzeiro, told AFP. Pires, “It was a planned operation for weeks, but we identified the movements of the criminals during the night and decided to intervene,” explaining that the suspects were preparing to flee to another favela area.
The military police, who often carry out this type of morning operation in the favelas of Rio against drug traffickers, claim that they were greeted with gunfire when they began an operation aimed at “locating and arresting criminals hiding in the favela” in Villa Cruzeiro.
He revealed that a helicopter used by the police had been hit by several bullets during the operation. The operation, which began around 4:00 a.m. (7:00 GMT) on Tuesday, specifically targeted the “Commando Vermelho” (Red Commandos), one of Brazil’s main criminal factions “responsible for more than 80% of the shootings in Rio”. A police spokesman told Globo TV.
21 dead, no arrests
A 41-year-old woman who was hit by a stray bullet died instantly. Many distressed families waited for news outside the hospital, fearing that someone close to them might be among the dead. Three people were wounded, two residents and a policeman. Around noon, explosions and gunshots were still heard around the slums.
During the operation, 13 assault rifles, four pistols, twenty motorcycles and ten cars were seized, but the police did not report any arrests. The most intense shooting took place at the top of the slum, on a hilltop where the rainforest was closed off by a dirt road. In 2010, images of dozens of armed men fleeing on this dirt road in broad daylight during a large-scale police operation went viral around the world.
Villa Cruzeiro, a favela area not far from Rio’s international airport, was the scene of another violent clash in February, when eight people were killed by security forces. In May 2021, a police operation in the Jacarisinho favela, about 10 kilometers from Villa Cruzeiro, killed 28 people, including a policeman, the largest death toll in the city’s history.
– No cameras on uniform –
“Another massacre. Schools closed, thousands of people terrified. Leftist city councilor Tarcisio Motta tweeted, “It’s failure of all plans to reduce (police violence), genocidal policy is running its course in Rio.”
During these powerful military police operations in Rio, residents and activists of associations often denounce the blunders or extrajudicial executions of suspects, violations of which most often go unpunished.
6,100 deaths in 2021, or 17 deaths per day on average
“These operations in the slums endanger the entire population and prevent the performance of public services. We know that they will never be tolerated in the affluent neighbourhoods”, Guilherme Pimentel, auditor of public defense, which provides legal aid to the poor, explains to AFP.
Brazilian police are one of the most murdered in the world, with more than 6,100 deaths in 2021, or 17 per day on average. Police officers in Rio were supposed to wear body cameras on their uniforms from May, but use of the equipment has been delayed due to delivery delays, according to local press.
In the neighboring state of São Paulo, the number of violent incidents involving police officers has decreased by 87% since the widespread use of cameras since 2021. Along with the use of cameras, security experts are calling for abandoning the logic of permanent confrontation in the fight against drug trafficking, and instead attacking the financial resources of the criminal factions.