Police said the early morning raid in the favela community of Rio de Janeiro was aimed at arresting the leaders of the drug trafficking group.
At least 11 people were shot dead during a Brazilian police raid in an impoverished place favela community north of Rio de Janeiro, authorities have said.
Police said Tuesday’s early morning raid in the Vila Cruzeiro slum was aimed at arresting leaders of a drug trafficking syndicate.
Those killed included a woman who was hit by a bullet during a gun exchange. Police said 10 gang members suspected of resisting activity and opening fire on police with automatic weapons were also killed.
“It was a very tense confrontation,” Colonel Ivan Blaz, a spokesman for the military police force leading the operation, told reporters. He said the woman may have been hit by bullets from within Vila Cruzeiro.
Residents said on social media that the massive shooting began in the dark at 4 a.m. local time (07:00 GMT) in a wooded area next to the community, scaring them. and panic.
Vila Cruzeiro, a crowded slum on a hillside not far from Rio de Janeiro’s international airport, was the scene of a violent confrontation in February, when police killed eight people.
Tuesday’s raid was Latest death police operation In a slum in Rio de Janeiro, similar housing units have alarmed human rights groups for years.
Last May, more than two dozen people were killed in a raid in the Jacarezinho slum of the city.
That activity caused outrage and protest among the residents, who say they feel terrorized and trapped in their communities, and push for independent investigations from human rights organizations and United Nations officials.
“We remind the Brazilian authorities that the use of force should only be used when absolutely necessary and that they must always respect the principles of lawfulness, prudence, necessity and proportionality,” the statement said. Member of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights speak in May 2021 about that particular incident.
“Lethal force should be used as a last resort and only in cases where there is an imminent threat to life or serious injury.”
Tuesday’s operation in Vila Cruzeiro was criticized for its use of excessive force.
“Another massacre. Schools closed, thousands of people persecuted,” leftist lawmaker Tarcisio Motta wrote on Twitter. “The extermination policy is in effect in Rio.”
Brazil’s G1 news site reported that the Vila Cruzeiro raid targeted the Comando Vermelho, or Red Command, one of Brazil’s most powerful criminal gangs.
Police said gunfights broke out in the highlands of the slum and in the woodlands around it.
Police seized seven assault rifles, five pistols, 10 motorcycles and six cars during Tuesday’s raid.
Brazilian police are among the deadliest in the world, responsible for more than 6,100 deaths by 2021, or an average of 17 a day, according to figures from the collaborative G1 Violence Watch with the University of Sao Paulo and the NGO Public Safety Forum.