Police Carry Out The Most Lethal Operation in The History of RJ, with at Least 25 Dead

Residents report shootings, invasions of houses and bodies in the Jacarezinho favela, in the north of Rio

Rio de Janeiro

A police operation in a Rio de Janeiro favela left 25 people dead and is already considered the most lethal in history, according to researchers, associations, and professionals who operate in the area.

According to the UFF (Universidade Federal Fluminense) Study Group on New Illegalism, which has produced and maintained a database since 1989, there has never been a single operation with this number of deaths. The highest total recently occurred in Complexo do Alemão in 2007, with 19 fatalities.

Rio's Civil Police officers are seen during a police operation agains drug traffickers at the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, on May 06, 2021. - A civil police officer and 22 suspects were killed during a police operation against drug traffickers in the Jacarezinho favela, Rio de janeiro on April 2021. The incident began with an exchange of fire at a metro station in the area which is in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro. (Photo by Mauro PIMENTEL and MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP) - AFP

"This number of deaths can only be compared to the massacres of Vigário Geral [21 dead in 1993] and Baixada [Fluminense in 2005, with 29 dead], but caused by extralegal operations. It is necessary to hold the political agents responsible for this action," says the group's coordinator, Daniel Hirata.

Both the Vigário and Baixada massacres were provoked by police in clandestine acts, as part of death squad actions, and not in an official operation like this one.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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