Brazil: Police occupy Rio de Janeiro slum

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Brazilian police occupied one of Rio de Janeiro’s most well-known favelas on June 19 in an effort to root out narco-traffickers and eventually establish a Pacifying Police Unit (UPP).

About 800 officers were sent to the Mangueira favela, home to about 20,000 people, with the support of six armored vehicles and five helicopters. The public safety director for the state of Rio, José Beltrame, said during a media conference police had taken control of the community without exchanging gunfire.

The government intends to establish a UPP in Mangueira, with law enforcement officers and social workers dedicated to stabilizing the neighborhood. The favela is located near the Maracanã stadium, which will be an important venue during the 2014 World Cup, Brazil’s Consulado Social news outlet reported on its website.

Brazil has established 17 UPPs in Rio de Janeiro favelas since implementing a new government plan to reintroduce law enforcement and municipal services in poor communities.

[Terra (Brazil), 20/06/2011; Consulado Social (Brazil), 19/06/2011; EFE (Brazil), 19/06/2011]

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