Rio drug raid leaves at least 25 dead, drawing international condemnation

Published in France24

With Robert Muggah

A massive police operation against drug traffickers in a Brazilian favela Thursday left 25 people dead, turning the impoverished Rio de Janeiro neighborhood into a battlefield and drawing condemnation from rights groups.

A policeman was among those killed in the early morning raid on Jacarezinho, on Rio’s north side, where residents awoke to explosions, heavy gunfire and helicopters overhead.

“It is unacceptable that Rio de Janeiro’s public security policy continues to bet on killing as a strategy,” said the Igarape Institute, a think tank.

Robert Muggah, the institute’s co-founder, said the deadly raid was “the predictable outcome of years of belligerent tough-on-crime rhetoric” from pro-gun, far-right leaders including President Jair Bolsonaro and Rio’s recently impeached governor, Wilson Witzel.

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