The Brazilian army ended its siege of 10 favelas without having recovered 11 guns that sparked the massive military incursion into several Rio de Janeiro squatter communities, The Independent reports. (See also: Reuters and the Associated Press.)
As I have noted before, the fact that the drug gangs get their weapons from the military has been well-known for years. As I report in my book, a military policeman with decades of experience in the favelas, told me that his squad routinely seizes crates of brand new weapons--assault rifles, grenades, handguns, etc.--that have come straight from the military.
It's also true that 99 percent of favela residents are not involved in the drug trade. Still, they prefer the traffickers to the cops or the army because the drug dealers are communitarian and invest in their hillside neighborhoods. I'm sure that the celebrations as the army pulled out involved more than jubilant drug dealers.
Now that the tense confrontation is over, here's a question I'd like the Brazilian media to answer. With all the guns that have been commandeered by the drug gangs over the years, why did the military suddenly go crazy over 11 guns that were stolen ten days ro so ago? There's got to be more to the story.