Sunday, March 05, 2006

Gangs fight for Brazilian slum

KnightRidder reports something contrary to what my Rocinha friends say. In previous posts, Rocinha residents said that the six people who died in the Comando Vermelho invasion were all bandidos--the bad guys. This article suggests that five were simply innocents caught in the crossfire.

Could my Rocinha readers please respond?

And here's something revealing: "The day of the shootout, hundreds of state police officers responsible for patrolling slums such as Rocinha were at a pre-Carnaval beach barbecue about an hour away. Law enforcement officials admitted days later that they'd received tips about the planned invasion but had been unable to prevent the fighting, even though the invaders had crossed much of the city in a heavily armed convoy of vans from another slum above the tourist-packed neighborhood of Copacabana."

In other words, the cops didn't want to intervene, which only serves to fuel people's suspicions that the cops are on the take from the drug gangs and thus are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Rio readers: let me know what's going on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, the account above is correct.
As a guide in Rocinha, my sources there tell me five of the victims were indeed inocents caught in the crossfire between the invading CV and the controling ADA. While the police churaco is new to me, all major newspapers at the time reported that the police knew weeks before an invation was likely, and still... .