At least 10 people were killed June 25 when elite troops from the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) of Brazil’s Military Police raided the Nova Holanda favela in Rio de Janeiro’s sprawling northern district Complexo da Maré. Authorities said the deaths occurred following a gun battle between police and criminals taking advantage of protests sweeping through the city to loot and steal. One police officer was reportedly among the dead. Protests continue throughout the city; on the day of the clash, hundreds blocked streets for several hours in the outlying districts of Capao Redondo and Campo Limpo. The following day, violence exploded as some 100,000 marched in Belo Horizonte, where Brazil played Uruguay in Confederations Cup semi-finals. Stores were looted, vehicles burned, and one protester killed when he fell from an overpass. (Zero Hora, AP, June 27; Al Jazeera, June 26; Correio do Brasil, June 25)
Planned favela evictions to make way for new sports stadiums have been a key grievance in the protest movement now sweeping Brazil. A protester was also killed June 20, when a motorist in an SUV intentionally ploughed into the crowd at Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo.
See our last post on the favela wars.