Controversy in Brazil over the death of 25 people in a favela at the hands of the police. The police action in a marginal neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro has been described as a massacre. In the last 23 years, 20,957 deaths have been registered in similar conditions.
” The most lethal operation in history, ” the Rio de Janeiro police boasted after more than 30 people died in the framework of a confrontation in the favela (marginal neighborhood) of Jacarezinho, in the north of a “city wonderful”.
At the moment, 25 deaths have been confirmed. Jacarezinho is a disputed territory between drug trafficking factions . The raid, authorities said, took place after learning that one of those gangs recruited children there to carry out surveillance tasks.
When the bullets stopped, a landscape of desolation remained: destroyed establishments, burst pipes, severed cables and economic losses for businesses and neighbors. The security forces honored their only victim, the others became mere statistics .
As expected, the work of the body has come under suspicion. ” An episode of terror like I never saw in Jacarezinho,” said the correspondent for Folha de San Pablo , Bruno Sousa. “The news reported the operation as if it were a fight between good and evil; the police are good, of course. The result of this is what we see, a massacre . There is no other name.”
Inhabitants of the favela who were witnesses to the events assured this Friday that the alleged criminals were “murdered” inside the houses and without offering resistance. “There was execution, there was murder,” said Milena Santos, a young student who participated in a protest, reports Efe.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights asked the Brazilian justice for an “independent and impartial investigation” and denounced the disproportionate use of force by the police in the Brazilian favelas, a trend that, according to the institution’s spokesman Rupert Colville has been going on for far too long.
Nothing has changed in Rio de Janeiro despite the removal of Governor Wilson Witzel for acts of corruption during the pandemic . His interim successor, Cláudio Castro (PSC), is also a defender of the strong hand.
Castro has ignored a ruling from the Supreme Federal Court (STF) that last year had prohibited, at least during the health crisis, an operation like the one carried out by the police. The STF then left the door open to “absolutely exceptional hypotheses” and with overwhelming evidence accumulated by the courts. It was not what happened last Thursday in the periphery of Rio.
One death every 10 hours
The violent death is commonplace in Rio de Janeiro . The newspaper O Globo reported this Friday that, between January 1998 and March 2021, 20,957 people lost their lives in clashes with the police . One death every 10 hours over 23 years. Most are young, Afro-Brazilian or mulatto, always poor.
The years that accumulate the greatest number of episodes are 2019 (1,814 deaths), 2018 (1,534) and 2020. For security specialists, this is not a coincidence: the greatest amount of blood has accumulated between the eve of the arrival of the extreme right to power and his first two years in office.