Brazil crackdown on drugs begins

Reuters: Armoured cars rolled through smoke-filled streets in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday as police battled slum-based drug gangs for a fifth consecutive day in the city slated to host the 2016 Olympics.

Live TV coverage showed heavily-armed police exchanging gunfire with suspected drug traffickers in the hilly shantytowns on the city outskirts.

Police targeted the Vila Cruzeiro slum in the northern part of the city, considered a stronghold of a gang thought to be behind ordering attacks.

At least 10 armored Marine vehicles, never before used in battles in the city's slums, or favelas, transported soldiers into Vila Cruzeiro, even as gangsters erected barriers. On television, a bus smoldered, smoke rising from a gutted shell.

"Our goal today is to take back ground from the drug traffickers. We're taking it back and rescuing society from its position as a hostage to the drug trade," said Colonel Alvaro Rodrigues of the military police and the head of the operation.

The violence began on Sunday as suspected gang members attacked police stations and burned vehicles. Authorities blamed the assaults on orders from imprisoned gang members angry at police efforts to take control of their turf in more than a dozen slums.

At least 30 people have been killed in this week's violence, according to the military police. Among those was a 14-year-old girl hit on Wednesday by a bullet that strayed indoors. She died in the hospital.

"We have no deadline to stop operations. We're going to continue giving logistical support ... to transport police troops for as long as needed," said Colonel Carlos Chagas, commander of the Marine logistics battalion.

Rio is among the Brazilian cities that will host the 2014 World Cup and last year was awarded the 2016 Olympics.

But the city has a history of violence and poverty that contradicts its image of shining beaches and colorful parties.

In the city of 6 million there are hundreds of poor communities, where even police are hesitant to enter. Last year gang members shot down a police helicopter, sparking raids and violence that killed 30 people.

Post new comment

<form action="/comment/reply/44398" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="comment-form"> <div><div class="form-item" id="edit-name-wrapper"> <label for="edit-name">Your name: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="60" name="name" id="edit-name" size="30" value="Reader" class="form-text required" /> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-mail-wrapper"> <label for="edit-mail">E-Mail Address: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="64" name="mail" id="edit-mail" size="30" value="" class="form-text required" /> <div class="description">The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.</div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-comment-wrapper"> <label for="edit-comment">Comment: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <textarea cols="60" rows="15" name="comment" id="edit-comment" class="form-textarea resizable required"></textarea> </div> <fieldset class=" collapsible collapsed"><legend>Input format</legend><div class="form-item" id="edit-format-1-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-1"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-1" name="format" value="1" class="form-radio" /> Filtered HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Allowed HTML tags: &lt;a&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;strong&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;ol&gt; &lt;li&gt; &lt;dl&gt; &lt;dt&gt; &lt;dd&gt;</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-format-2-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-2"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-2" name="format" value="2" checked="checked" class="form-radio" /> Full HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> </fieldset> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-77b6e6fe53c010679c36f776f9acc5e5" value="form-77b6e6fe53c010679c36f776f9acc5e5" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-comment-form" value="comment_form" /> <fieldset class="captcha"><legend>CAPTCHA</legend><div class="description">This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.</div><input type="hidden" name="captcha_sid" id="edit-captcha-sid" value="64156553" /> <input type="hidden" name="captcha_response" id="edit-captcha-response" value="NLPCaptcha" /> <div class="form-item"> <div id="nlpcaptcha_ajax_api_container"><script type="text/javascript"> var NLPOptions = {key:'c4823cf77a2526b0fba265e2af75c1b5'};</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://call.nlpcaptcha.in/js/captcha.js" ></script></div> </div> </fieldset> <span class="btn-left"><span class="btn-right"><input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-submit" value="Save" class="form-submit" /></span></span> </div></form>

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.