In police shoot out targeting drug traffickers in the favelas of Rio De-Janeiro, at least 25 were reported to have been killed including a police officer, by the local media. The shootout happened in Jacarezinho neighbourhood of the favelas after receiving an anonymous tip off that drug dealers are recruiting children.
Two metro train passengers who were caught by the bullets were injured but survived. Brazilian city police confirmed the death of one of their police officers, Inspector Andre Leonardo de Malla Frias. Chief Police Ronaldo Oliviera, in an interaction with Reuters said that the operation on Thursday witnessed the highest body count in police operations in the favelas so far.
Television footages aired, showed images suspects fleeing the area through rooftops. Residents inside the favelas shared accounts of what happened during the raid on social media. One such person showed an imagery of a blood splattered floor as two suspects were shot down inside his home as they tried to escape.
The person said that he is trying to sell his house and move out of the area as quick as possible, as it is becoming increasingly unbearable to live there. Other residents said that police officers have seized their mobile phones, that they tried to warn the gang members.
One Sociology professor named Ignacio Cano from the Laboratory for the Analysis of Violence at Rio State University dismissed the reasoning given by police for the raid, saying that minors working for the drug dealers is nothing a new and everyone knows about it. He said that the police raiding the favelas as they discovered minors getting recruited by the traffickers is a joke.
Rio De-Janeiro is one of the most dangerous states in the country occupied by fair share of violent elements engaged in drug trafficking businesses. Police and other Security forces routinely conduct and accused of such raids into the poor neighbourhoods of the city called favelas, killing suspects and innocent by standers often and hurting those are falsely suspected. Though the court orders the police to conduct such raids only when essential, the line that demarcates when it is essential is very slim and police often conduct raids. A 22% of 1.3 million people in Rio De-Janeiro live in such shanty neighbourhoods.