Rio de Janeiro: 12 dead, chopper down as favela wars escalate

Two weeks after Rio de Janeiro celebrated winning the 2016 Olympic Games, the Brazilian city was rocked by an intense gun battle that left 12 dead, including two police, in one of the northern favelas, and a Military Police helicopter was shot down, killing two officers. The violence began early Oct. 17, when Morro dos Macacos favela, controlled by the Amigos dos Amigos drug gang, was invaded by members of the rival Comando Vermelho. Both sides then turned against the police who were sent in to intervene. Ironically, the violence took place near a football field known as the Vila Olímpica. Fighting quickly spread to the neighboring favelas of Sampaio and Vila Isabel, where numerous buses were torched in protest of the police invasion. The conflicted favelas have since been flooded with hundreds of Military Police. (BBC News, Jornal de Brasília, Oct. 18; The Guardian; Jornal do Commercio, Recife; eBand, Brazil, Oct. 17)

See our last posts on Brazil and the favela wars.

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