Brazil Police Arrest 200 In Anti-Crime Sweep

By Dialogo
April 07, 2009

Brazilian police arrested 200 people including 23 teenagers as part of a wide-ranging operation to reduce the incidence of violence in and around this capital, authorities said. The operation, dubbed "Alvorada 4," has 900 agents taking part and plans to execute 300 outstanding arrest warrants. Most of those arrested are suspected of such crimes as homicide, robbery and rape, the police said in a communique. Aside from Brasilia in the Federal District, arrests were also made in the neighboring states of Goias and Minas Gerais with the collaboration of regional police forces. Police said they hope for a "noteworthy reduction of crime" in the area of the Brazilian capital after this operation. The first three Alvorada operations, with similar objectives to the one carried out Tuesday, succeeded in arresting a total of 158 people beginning in March last year. Brasilia is one of the cities in Brazil with the highest incidence of violence. Nonetheless, the so-called "satellite cities" surrounding Brasilia in the Federal District with their nearly 3 million inhabitants living in poverty have seen an escalation of violence in recent years. The region is considered one of the 11 most violent metropolitan areas in the country, and has consequently been included in the initial phase of the National Public Safety Program, launched in 2007 by the Brazilian government, which seeks to control the problem of violence. This program contemplates an increase in the number of police officers, giving them better training and implementing social measures in the shantytowns that surround Brazil's major cities, where the violence problem is at its worst.