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Brazil launches bid to reoccupy Rio slums

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Brazil launches bid to reoccupy Rio slums
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In Brazil, thousands of heavily armed police have begun an operation to seize control of Rio de Janeiro’s worst slums.

The occupation of Rocinha, a notorious hillside “favela” is a crucial part of the city’s preparations for the 2014 football World Cup and the Olympics two years later. Many locals have welcomed the move.

Former community worker William de Oliveira said:“Now people will have to abide and respect the law and will have the same rights as any other citizen. Today, a resident of Rocinha will receive the same treatment as a resident of Copacabana.”

Security forces have occupied nearly 20 slums in the past three years but none as symbolically or strategically important as Rocinha.

Its sprawling shacks and stores overlook one of the city’s poshest areas. After a two-hour sweep through the slum, authorities said it had been a success and that officers encountered no resistance.