Rio de Janeiro: police, drug gangs turn favelas into war zones

At least 14 people have been killed, and dozens more injured, amid clashes between police and drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro over the past two weeks. Vila Cruzeiro favela, one of the impoverished districts hardest hit by the violence, remains a war zone. “It’s absurd! Police have been here for two weeks, bullets flying all over the place, children cannot go to school, and the traffickers don’t even hide,” said a 56-year-old grandmother in Vila Cruzeiro, who identified herself only as Rose. Authorities intend to launch more police occupations of the favelas and are considering bringing in military Black Hawk helicopters to bolster the city’s security prior to hosting the Pan-American Games in July. (Reuters, May 16)

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