A police operation in the favelas overlooking the Copacabana tourist hotspot in Rio de Janeiro went badly wrong when the body of a renowned local dancer was found the morning after.
The dancer’s battered body was found in a day care centre where he had sought shelter, and as his family and friends discovered the news, people in the district and from neighbouring Ipanema rioted.
With many complaining it was unsafe to return to their homes, they joined protesters in the street, where piles of rubbish were set on fire and at least one car was torched. There were widespread acts of vandalism, and at least one man was shot dead.
The violence comes just 50 days before the start of the World Cup, when the Copacabana and Ipanema are expected to host tens of thousands of tourists. Police are investigating the dancer’s death amid claims he was mistaken for a drug dealer and beaten to death.
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