War Zone

Forces in Rio raid slums – Source: http://www.oglobo.com

My life has been filled with strong images lately.

Rio de Janeiro’s police force is raiding all the slums to end the drug lords’ reign over the city. Most slums – to my knowledge there is only one that isn’t – are controlled by drug lords.

They set up a micro-society where they are the leaders and who the people should look up to for help – in exchange, of course, for their silence when the police comes knocking.

A while back, I blogged about a movie I had just re-watched about special forces that deal with the drug lords in the slums and try to keep the situation under control. These are the forces that were called in for the ‘inevitable confrontation’, as said Defence Minister Nelson Jobim this week.

As they moved in and tried to crackdown the gangs, another decision was made: 800 men from the Brazilian army were deployed to help.

So, officially, Rio de Janeiro is in the middle of a civil war.

By the way, this is being done for the World Cup in 2014.

The most difficult thing about writing this post is that I have no idea what my opinion is. These attacks on the slums have killed at least 30 people in the last week and 18 men were arrested. I have no idea how many arms and what amount of drugs have been aprehended, but make no mistake that the numbers will be high.

Living in Rio, you always hear about random bullets killing innocent bystanders, executions that take place in slums, casualities that are caused by the police that shouldn’t have happened, young children who are shot or just cruelly killed…

And now, a confrontation is in place to avoid all of that. They are catching the ones who cause all the mayhem, aren’t they?

Let me make this clear: the police force, the rich druggies, the young children who need money, the families of the drug lords and who ever works for them – so many people are involved in the process and it has so many layers that I have no idea if this is actually going to work.

People are dying – but they were dying before. People are being arrested – I don’t know if this will help.

So here is a very confused post. I have no idea, I am in no position to judge.

“I believe the task of forgiving the drug lords is up to God, to us, from the Special Forces, lies the task of promoting the encounter between them.” – Captain of BOPE Rodrigo Pimentel


– Read more about it here.
–  And here.

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