Brazil’s Real War Against Drugs
Posted on Nov 26, 2010
Having used thousands of heavily armed men, Brazil claims to have wrested control of a notorious slum area in Rio de Janeiro from drug gangs in an operation that lasted five days and killed more than two dozen people. —JCL
The government sent armoured military vehicles with high-calibre machine guns into Vila Cruzeiro, a major shantytown in northern Rio de Janeiro, in a concerted crackdown on drug gangs on Sunday.
Police said armoured vehicles backed by helicopters, snipers and thousands of heavily armed men from the military police and navy, with another 17,500 reinforcements were “on alert” for the operation.
At least 30 suspected drug traffickers were reportedly killed since the operation began on Sunday.
“At this moment, Vila Cruzeiro belongs to the state,” Rodrigo Oliveira, a police spokesman, said late on Thursday, adding that forces remained on alert.
AP / Silvia Izquierdo
A city bus torched by drug gang members burns in the streets of Rio’s Vila Cruzeiro, one of more than 1,000 slums in the city.