The Rio de Janeiro militias' search for new sources of income and increased power has led them to target control of the real estate sector in the dominated regions. The criminals use violence and threats to evict residents from their homes and take possession of their land.
In general, the militia members build new constructions, which are then sold or rented out, generating money for the gang. Police investigations indicate that this practice is commonplace.
As reported by Folha, militias operate in more than 800 areas in the metropolitan region of Rio, mainly in the western zone and Baixada Fluminense.
According to the Rio de Janeiro State Court, in the last five years, 468 cases of unlawful occupation have been brought to hearings in the state. Jecrim in Barra da Tijuca, western zone, had the most cases during this period, with 91 trials. The court focuses on neighborhoods with militia presence, such as Barra de Guaratiba, Carmorim, Vargem Grande, Grumari, Vargem Pequena, and Recreio dos Bandeirantes.