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.
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