Brazilian Army Turns Over Control of Shantytown to the Police
By Dialogo July 02, 2012
The Brazilian Army has completely withdrawn from the Alemão shantytown complex in Rio de Janeiro, occupied in an impressive Military operation a year and a half ago, and security in this former bastion of drug trafficking has been taken over by elite police units starting on June 28.
Starting early in the morning on that day, contingents from the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) and the shock troops of the Rio Military Police (PM) arrived at the Vila Cruzeiro shantytown to begin the transfer of security responsibilities.
“Beginning at five in the morning, the PM entered the area and occupied it together with our Military personnel. At 6, a complete replacement was carried out, and our Military personnel were withdrawn,” said Major Marcos Bouças, an Army spokesperson.
The withdrawal of the Military units from the Alemão shantytown complex began in March with the installation of what are known as Police Pacification Units (UPP), which fall under the authority of the PM and were formed to guard the shantytowns, previously controlled by drug traffickers and militias.
In the Alemão complex, inhabited by around 400,000 people, six of the 25 UPPs set up in the approximately 90 reconquered shantytowns are in operation, with plans to increase that number to eight in July.
“A meticulous job of patrolling is being initiated, which consists of checking individuals, vehicles, and locations,” Colonel Federico Caldas, a PM spokesperson, told the Globo television network.
In 2008, the authorities of Rio state, one of the country’s most violent, began a race against the clock to pacify the shantytowns in strategic locations in the city in preparation for the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
There is still a Military presence in several other “pacified” shantytowns, however.
In late November 2010, 2,600 Military personnel and police shock troops, supported by armored cars and helicopters, retook Alemão complex following a week of urban violence that left 37 dead.
Since then, around 1,700 Military personnel from the Army’s peacekeeping forces have been responsible for security in the area.
“The Army’s work was extraordinary, fundamental for us to get to the conditions we’re in here,” Caldas emphasized.
Gentlemen: This is our Brazilian Army, always ready to accomplish any mission to benefit the Brazilian State and its people. STRONG ARM, FRIENDLY HAND! THIS HAS BEEN THE PLACE OF OUR ARMY IN OUR HISTORY, DIFFERENT FROM THOSE WHO TRY TO DENIGRATE THE INCORRUPTABLE IMAGE OF THIS INSTITUTION WHICH COULD HAVE ALREADY HELPED OUR COUNTRYâ€™S POLICE OFFICERS TO FIGHT ORGANIZED CRIME AS IT HAPPENS IN MEXICO, USA, COLOMBIA AND OTHERS BUT HERE THE ANARCHISTS FROM THE PAST WHO TOOK UP ARMS AND TRIED TO INSTALL COMMUNISM IN THIS COUNTRY IN 68/69/70â€™S UNTIL 1977 ARE NOW IN POWER MAY THE MILITARY COMMANDERS ALERT ON A BOLD WAY THAT OUR RULE OF LAW HAS ALREADY BEEN TAKEN BY HEAVILY ARMED FACTIONS THAT KILL ALMOST EVERYDAY A MILITARY POLICE OFFICER WHERE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS IN THE HOUSES OF LULA, DILMA, JOSÃ‰ GENUÃNO, JOSÃ‰ DIRCEU. COWARDS.