21 killed in Rio police raid
(May 25, 2022)
More than 21 people were killed in a pre-dawn police raid in Rio de Janeiro’s Vila Cruzeiro favela, yesterday. The police operation, backed by a helicopter, was aimed at locating and arresting criminal leaders, The police operation, backed by a helicopter, targeted leaders of Rio’s largest organized crime gang, the Comando Vermelho, reports Reuters.
Officials said they were fired on while preparing the operative, reports the Associated Press. Residents said on social media that heavy shooting began in darkness at 4am in a wooded area next to Vila Cruzeiro, sparking fear and panic in the community, reports the Guardian.
It is one of Rio’s deadliest police operations in recent history, and comes a year after the Jacarezinho favela raid that left 28 people dead and prompted allegations of police abuse and summary executions. (See post for May 7, 2021.) Earlier this year, Brazil’s Supreme Court established a series of conditions for police to conduct raids in Rio’s favelas as a means to reduce police killings and violations of human rights.
The operation was conducted jointly by the military police and federal highway police. Rio state public prosecutors said in a statement they had opened a criminal investigation. They gave the military police 10 days to provide details about the operation, indicating which officials were responsible for each death and the justification for use of lethal force, the statement said.
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