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Rio police move in to violence-stricken favela

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Rio police move in to violence-stricken favela


The army and the police have taken control of a drug traffickers’ stronghold in Rio de Janeiro, after a week-long wave of violence.

Almost three thousand armed officers moved into the Complexo do Alemao favela on Sunday.

They were backed up by tanks and helicopters.

The local press are triumphant. “Reconquered” said the headline on one newspaper.

According to sociologist Ignacio Cano, the risk is that the police will only bring peace to the richer, tourist areas of the city linked to big events like the Olympics and World Cup, and he says that in 2016 when those events are over, the situation will revert to what it was before.

It comes after a week of clashes between the security forces and drug dealers. At least 45 people have been killed.

The police seized huge quantities of drugs, including more than 30 tonnes of marijuana and 200 kilos of cocaine.

Weapons were also discovered.

The authorities are keen to be seen taking security seriously, ahead of the 2014 football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

But for some human rights activists, their approach is too heavy-handed.

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