Translation of article “Rocinha revive pesadelo.” From O Dia, published March 19, 2012.
RIO – Three people were killed and one injured in a shootout between traffickers in Rocinha early yesterday morning. The community has been occupied by the Military Police for the past four months in preparation for the installation of a Police Pacification Unit (UPP). For many residents, the skirmish recalled similar moments of fear and apprehension in Rocinha’s past. Yesterday the police presence in the area was reinforced, and the atmosphere returned to normal.
The shootout may have been a conflict between remaining members of the gang run by Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, aka Nem, the former chief of drug traffic in the community, who was arrested in November; or with rival traffickers attempting to gain control of the territory.
Arms and drugs
According to the police from the Tactical Motorcycle Unit (Grupamento Tático de Motociclistas, or GTM) and the Shock Battalion, which participated in the occupation of the community, the conflict began around 1AM in a neighborhood called Campina Macega. Two bodies were found on Rua 2 and one on Rua 3.
On Rua 2, police entered a house and confiscated five pistols–four 9mms and one .45 calibre–three grenades, 9mm ammunition, 1,505 bags of cocaine, drug packaging materials, a walkie-talkie, and two notebooks documenting drug transactions.
According to the police, the dead men were traffickers. They have been identified as Rafael Pacheco de Souza and Leandro Santos Braga; the third is known only as Girino. Another man who was wounded in the shootout is recovering in Miguel Couto Hospital, in Gávea. He has not yet been identified. He will serve as a witness for the Homicide Division’s investigation of the case.