November 29, 2022

Police raid leaves 11 dead in Rio favela: Brazil authorities

Relatives of people killed or injured during a May 24, 2022 police raid of a favela in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro gather outside a hospital


Relatives of people killed or injured during a May 24, 2022 police raid of a favela in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro gather outside a hospital – Copyright AFP Wakil KOHSAR

A police raid in a Rio favela early Tuesday left 11 people dead, authorities in the Brazilian city said.

Military police said they came under gun fire as they planned to enter a slum called Vila Cruzeiro in the north of the city with the mission of locating and arresting “criminal leaders.”

In the ensuing gunbattle 10 alleged criminals died, as did a female resident of the favela who was hit by a stray bullet.

Police often carry out raids in Rio’s teeming slums to fight drug trafficking.

They said that this time they were looking for gang leaders hiding out in Vila Cruzeiro that were from other parts of Brazil.

This was the deadliest police raid in a year in Rio.

Last May a police raid in a favela called Jacarezinho left 28 people dead including a police officer. It was the largest such toll in the city’s history.

The news website G1 said Tuesday’s raid targetted the Comando Vermelho, or Red Command, one of Brazil’s most powerful crime gangs.

Police said there were gunbattles in high-ground areas of the favela itself and in wooded grounds surrounding it.

Police seized seven assault riles, five pistols, 10 motorcycles and six cars in Tuesday’s operation.