Languages
Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Ten killed in Brazilian slum raid

Advertisement

Police mount the raid in Rio de Janeiro

At least 10 people have been killed after Brazilian police raided shanty towns in Rio de Janeiro in an anti-drugs operation.

About 300 police and special forces using armoured vehicles and helicopters descended upon four slums, know as favelas, in the west of the city.

Police say all those who died were suspected drug dealers.

But a BBC correspondent in the city says community groups often challenge the police version of events.

The operation comes as officials recently launched a new approach to ridding the favelas of drugs traffickers.

Instead of withdrawing after violent shootouts, police aim to maintain a constant presence in the shanty towns.

Drugs targeted

Police said the target of the latest operation had been drugs, arms and stolen cars in the sprawling favelas.

Those killed included two teenage boys, the city's civil defence ministry confirmed.

At least seven people were arrested and police say they recovered guns, two grenades and an assortment of drugs.

Police stand guard in a Rio de Janeiro shantytown during a visit by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 3 February 2009

A woman who was hit by a stray bullet was also taken to hospital, reports say.

"It was a success. With today's operation we have considerably weakened the criminals," said the head of civil police, Gilberto Ribeiro.

Police often stay out of Rio's large shanty towns, only entering on heavily armed raids directed against drug gangs or illegal militias, says the BBC's Gary Duffy in Rio de Janeiro.

However a new approach to policing is being tried in two poor neighbourhoods, one of which was visited by Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday.

Police are maintaining a 24-hour presence in the shanty town of Santa Marta to try to reclaim the area from drugs gangs.

Analysts say the experiment might offer at least a limited alternative for policing in city.

However there are more than 900 shanty towns and the costs and challenges of ensuring all are properly policed would be enormous, our correspondent says.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Riot police occupy Sao Paulo slum
03 Feb 09 |  Americas
Gang raids Brazil police station
11 Nov 08 |  Americas
Brazil launches slum reform drive
03 Jul 07 |  Americas
Country profile: Brazil
04 Dec 08 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific