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Army still Disoriented in Fight against Violence 40 Days into Rio Federal Intervention

03/27/2018 - 11h29

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SÉRGIO RANGEL
FROM SÃO PAULO
LUCAS VETTORAZZO
FROM RIO DE JANEIRO

Military Police officers are still getting killed in armed confrontations with criminals, while residents of Rio de Janeiro's neediest neighborhoods continue to suffer the consequences of high crime levels.

Last weekend alone, at least eight people were killed in the Rocinha favela, while five teenagers were killed in Maricá, in Rio's metropolitan region.

To make matters worse, a councilwoman was killed in what was most likely a premeditated crime just over a kilometer away from a federal base that was set up in connection with the intervention. The crime, which had international repercussions, has not been solved yet.

Forty days have gone by since Army General Walter Braga Netto was designated the federal representative in charge of the Rio's public security, but the situation the state is in is still a far cry from what president Michel Temer (MDB) had promised when he took the measures to reinstate law and order.

OUT IN THE OPEN

On Monday, the violent conflict between drug dealers and militias in Rio's western district resulted in the suspension of BRT Transcarioca services. A helicopter belonging to TV Globo captured footage this morning of criminals exchanging gunfire.

In the afternoon, soldiers began operations in Rio's south, north and central districts, designed to reinforce policing "in areas with a great circulation of people and vehicles".

The clearest example of Army disorientation was the operation that took place in the Vila Kennedy favela, in Rio's western district. The operation was considered a kind of trial period for the intervention.

The trial period, however, will not last much longer given that the Armed Forces have announced that they will be leaving the area despite not having captured any drug lords or confiscating significant amounts of drugs or weapons.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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