The death of a teenage boy in the Complexo da Penha this week marks the second civilian death at the hands of the Army in four months. In September 2011 a conflict broke out between soldiers and civilians in the Complexo do Alemão, and Ana Lucia da Silva, 15, was shotand killed on her way home. The neighboring favela complexes of Alemão and Penha have been occupied by the Pacification force, a division of the Army, since November 2010. A Police Pacification Unit (UPP) was supposed to replace the Army in October 2011, but Governor Sérgio Cabral decided to delay the installation of the UPP until June 2012.
Secretary Admits that Traffickers Have Returned to Alemão, Where the Military Found an Unexploded Bomb
RIO – After the third night of clashes between Army soldiers and drug traffickers in Complexo do Alemão, the region had its security reinforced on Wednesday. With over one hundred men, the Military Police decided to indefinitely occupy two neighboring hills—Baiana and Adeus. And this afternoon, Army soldiers will execute a large operation at the access points to the Complexo in two Urutu armored vehicles.
At a news conference, the state Security Secretary, José Mariano Beltrame, confirmed that traffickers entered Alemão last night. Beltrame would not reveal the number of bandits or where they came from, though he says that the Secretariat’s intelligence division has this information.
Army will Remain in Alemão and Penha until June 2012, says Government
The government says the decision was a request to the Minister of Defense. The state plans to install eight UPPs in the area’s favelas.
The government of Rio de Janeiro reported, this Tuesday, August 30th, that Army troops will remain in the favela complexes of Alemão and Penha in the North Zone of Rio, until June 2012. The communities were occupied in late November 2010. The government says the measure was a request from governor Sergio Cabral to the the new national Defense Minister, Celso Amorim, who decided on Monday, August 29th, to extend the Army’s presence from October of this year until June of next year.
Rio Radar had the opportunity to sit down with General Carlos Sarmento, Commander of the Pacification Forces in Complexos do Alemão & da Penha in Rio’s North Zone. He is the third commander since police and military forces invaded and took control of the area in December of 2010.
In this interview, Gen. Sarmento explains the roll of the Pacification Forces, it’s successes and difficulties, the use of Disque-Denúncia anonymous tip hotlines, the continued presence of drug trafficking, and explains why he feels the area will never again revert to the control of drug traffickers.
Next up…an interview with Francisco Farias, resident of Rio das Pedras.
In this interview, divided by topic into two videos, Rio Radar speaks with community health agent, NGO volunteer, and activist Walmir dos Santos at the base of Morro da Baiana in the Complexo do Alemão area of the North Zone. In the first video, Walmir discusses security and pacification in his neighborhood and what he sees as the false dialogue of public security. In the second video, Walmir addresses community resources and his views on the R$500 million PAC development project.
Coming soon…an interview with General Carlos Sarmento, commander of the Pacification Forces in the Complexos do Alemão & da Penha.