Wednesday, December 01, 2010

DRUG WARS IN RIO



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A boy with the word "Peace" written in his forehead looks on during a protest at the Complexo do Alemão 
slum in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

The Boston Globe's BIG PICTURE has an incredible collection of the photojournalism coverage of last weekend's battle to reclaim one of Rio's largest flavelas.

A small war took place last week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, between Brazilian forces and hundreds of drug traffickers holed up in the shantytown complex dubbed Complexo do Alemão. After recent efforts by officials to pacify Rio's drug and gang-related violence ahead of the upcoming the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics Games, drug gangs struck out last week - attacking police stations and staging mass robberies. After days of preparation, Brazilian security forces launched a raid in the Complexo do Alemão, where between 500 and 600 drug traffickers were holed up. At least 42 people were killed in the violence last week, with security forces taking control of many neighborhoods. A relatively low number of arrests were made, and authorities warn of further conflict as continue to flush out more suspects in Rio's maze of favelas. (40 photos total)

I encourage you to check it out and peruse the comments which give a sense of how complex and difficult this situation has been for Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian media are reporting that the general population are mostly supportive of the actions by the government.



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Residents flee the conflict area during the raid in the Morro do Alemão shantytown on November 28, 2010 in Rio de Janeiro. (JEFFERSON BERNARDES/AFP/Getty Images)

 

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A policemen walks past a wall with a painting of the Brazilian flag marked with bullet holes during an operation against drug traffickers at the Complexo do Alemão slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)


As Brazil enters the incredible 21st Century promises of economic development and world power status the challenges of poverty, violence and forest conservation also loom large. The Brazilian flag is prescient of the need to make progress orderly and just for all rather than chaotic for many and beneficial for some.



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