RIO DE JANEIRO – Six people were arrested on Monday during the occupation of a Rio shantytown by 4,300 Brazilian troops, authorities said.
The sweep was the latest in a series of operations that followed President Michel Temer’s decision in February to put the military in control of law enforcement and public safety in Rio de Janeiro state, which recorded 6,732 homicides in 2017.
Monday’s raid, which, like its predecessors, included armored vehicles and helicopters, targeted the Complexo do Alemao favela, or shantytown.
Besides making six arrests, the soldiers dismantled barricades and seized five cars, a motorcycle, four guns, military uniforms, and an unspecified quantity of drugs, an army spokesman said.
“The results are often not proportionate to the number of troops employed,” Col. Carlos Cinelli told a press conference. “But for us, that relationship ... is not the most important thing. The most important thing is that the state entered the community, removed barricades, removed that brazen criminality, and there were no civilians wounded, no deaths.”
A study released Monday by Candido Mendes University found that the number of multiple-fatality violent incidents in Rio de Janeiro city has increased 80 percent since the start of the military intervention.
The army operations in the favelas have produced “fear, deaths, and few positive results,” study coordinator Silvia Ramos said, a view supported by the accounts of Alemao residents of being alarmed to see thousands of hooded soldiers on the streets of their community.