Taking Back Complexo Do Alemão

With the support of the Brazilian Armed Forces and the Federal Police, the Civil and Military Police of the state of Rio de Janeiro occupied Complexo do Alemão, a bastion of drug traffickers in northern Rio in November 2010. Until then, the area had been a safe haven for drug traffickers to run their businesses.
Print | 1 April 2012

A Brazilian Army helicopter flies over Complexo do Alemão shantytown in Rio de Janeiro. [Brazilian Army]

Photos by The Brazilian Army

Brazilian Army Col. Fernando Montenegro, commander of the Sampaio Regiment, patrols the region during a helicopter flyover of Complexo do Alemão. [Brazilian Army]

Instead of fighting criminals from the outside, the Brazilian Armed Forces moved into the communities, widening the authorities’ ability to reach previously lawless areas. Each separate unit patrolled for three months in the area until the Rio state government implemented Pacifying Police Units. In August 2011, Sampaio Task Force took control of Complexo do Alemão.

Soldiers of the Brazilian Army patrol the streets of Complexo do Alemão. [Brazilian Army]
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