Bullet hole in the window of the UPP in Nova Brasília. Photo credit: Jornal do Brasil
On the night of Monday, July 23rd, residents of the Complexo do Alemão were alarmed to hear gunfire and an explosion near the Itararé gondola station. Police claim that twelve men armed with assault rifles attacked the Nova Brasília Police Pacification Unit (UPP); the subsequent firefight lasted forty minutes and left one resident wounded and one police officer dead. Fabiana Aparecida de Souza was shot while returning to the UPP after her break; a bullet pierced her bulletproof vest. She is the first UPP officer to be killed in the line of duty in a pacified favela.
Officer Fabiana Aparecida de Souza. Photo credit: Veja
On Tuesday the Special Police Operations Battalion and the Canine Unit patrolled Nova Brasília and the surrounding communities. Three suspects were arrested in connection with the attack, and a backpack containing drug paraphernalia and homemade grenade was confiscated.
Posted in Crime, José Mariano Beltrame, News, Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral, UPP
Tagged BOPE, Complexo do Alemão, Disque-Denúncia, Força de Pacificação, Ignacio Cano, José Mariano Beltrame, Polícia Militar, Sergio Cabral, UPP
Sign reads "Notice: Selling crack is prohibited in the community of Jacarezinho." Photo credit: O Globo/Divulgação/Rio de Paz
Translation of article “Tráfico fixa cartazes no Jacarezinho priobindo vende de crack na favela.” From O Globo, published June 20, 2012.
As of Wednesday, June 20th, the sale of crack is prohibited in the favela Jacarezinho, in Jacaré, a suburb of Rio that is considered the largest cracolândia [gathering of crack addicts] in the city. The order comes from drug traffickers in the area, and is displayed on posters around the community, according to the social justice organization Rio de Paz.
The ban extends to the neighboring communities of Mandela and Manguinhos. According to Rio de Paz president Antônio Carlos Costa, crack addicts were creating serious disturbances in the community, due to the drug’s hallucinogenic and destructive properties.
National Security Force troops in Morro Santo Amaro. Photo credit: Último Segundo.
Police sources say traffickers are also concerned that the crack epidemic will spur an invasion by the National Security Force, as happened in Morro Santo Amaro, in Catete.
Considered the largest crack point of sale in the South Zone, Santo Amaro was invaded on May 18th as a part of the federal initiative “Crack can be defeated” and in preparation for the installation of a Polic Pacifying Unit (UPP).
Nem da Rocinha, former chief of the gang Amigos dos Amigos, being arrested a few days before the invasion of the favela in November 2011. Photo credit: Terra.
By Zoë Roller, Contributing Editor
One of the principal critiques of the UPP program is that its objective is not to dismantle organized crime or address the causes of the drug trade, but to force gang activity out of pacified communities. This strategy has driven drug traffickers from the center of Rio to surrounding areas, including Niterói and the Baixada Fluminense, raising concerns that Rio’s increasing public safety comes at the expense of its suburbs. In other areas, gangs have simply returned to their own communities after the initial shock of pacification, either going underground or paying off UPP officers. A recent string of murders in Rocinha suggests that favela invasions can leave the community vulnerable to attacks from rival factions. It appears that another gang is taking advantage of the power vacuum left by the arrest of ex-chief trafficker Nem to recover lost territory.
Nem’s arrest, and the invasion of Rocinha a few days later, disrupted an internal power structure that had been in place for six years. Rocinha, along with neighboring favela Vidigal, was under the control of the trafficking gang Amigos dos Amigos (“Friends of Friends,” or ADA) since 2004; both were previously run by Comando Vermelho (“Red Command,” or CV). According to the Brazilian website Procurados, which provides information on wanted criminals, allegiance in Rocinha and Vidigal shifted to ADA after a conflict between two CV traffickers erupted in a week-long firefight that left more than ten dead. No other gang has challenged ADA’s control of Rocinha since 2004, sparing residents the turf wars and police shootouts that plague disputed territories like the Complexo da Maré.
Vanderlan Barros de Oliveira, aka Feijão, Rocinha community leader. Photo credit: Correio do Brasil
Rocinha, one of the largest favelas in Rio, was invaded without a shot fired in November 2011, in preparation for the installation of a Police Pacification Unit (UPP). The newly pacified community remained nearly incident-free until recently, despite having been a major drug trafficking stronghold. The deaths of two known traffickers in February and three in March suggest that the remaining traffickers are struggling for control of Rocinha. Yesterday a sixth drug-related murder occurred: Vanderlan Barros de Oliveira, aka Feijão (“Bean”), the president of one of Rocinha’s residents’ associations, was shot and killed yesterday morning on one of the favela’s main streets.
Police surround Feijão's body after shooting in Rocinha. Photo credit: O Globo
According to O Globo and Correio do Brasil, the murder was likely related to the rivalry between drug trafficking factions in Rocinha. Feijão was under investigation by the Federal Police for involvement with a money laundering ring controlled by Nem, the former chief trafficker in Rocinha. He was also accused of belonging to the gang that controlled Rocinha before it was pacified, Amigos dos Amigos.
Translation of article “Rocinha Residents’ Association President Murdered” below the jump. From O Dia, published March 26, 2012.
Posted in Crime, News, Rio de Janeiro, UPP
Tagged Amigos dos Amigos, Batalhão do Choque, Divisão de Homicídios, Nem, Polícia Civil, Polícia Federal, Polícia Militar, Rocinha, UPP
Translation of article “Rocinha revive pesadelo.” From O Dia, published March 19, 2012.
Arms and drugs confiscated during police operation, photo credit: O Dia
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.
Morro de São Carlos
Translation of article “Beltrame via reforçar UPP no Morro de São Carlos.” From Repórter de Crime, O Globo, published February 21, 2012.
This morning Rio de Janeiro’s Security Secretary, José Mariano Beltrame, told the blog Repórter de Crime that he plans to send troops from the Military Police’s Shock Battalion and Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) to provide support to some Police Pacification Units (UPPs). Beltrame stated that UPPs in areas that have seen conflicts between police and residents, as well as armed clashes with drug traffickers, may receive reinforcements.
“This Thursday we will discuss the possibility of sending additional troops to support UPPs, to distribute pamphlets, and to encourage favela residents to turn in traffickers,” Beltrame stated. He acknowledged that there are obstacles to pacification in the favela Morro de São Carlos, in Estació, where the chief drug trafficker was arrested yesterday morning after a shootout between police and traffickers. Wendel Timóteo Rodrigues Nunes, 14, was shot in the back during the skirmish, and a Military Police car was burned by traffickers. The shootout took place during the Carnaval street party “Boi sem chifre,” leaving almost a hundred people caught in the crossfire. Continue reading
Thiago Schimmer Cáceres, aka Leão or Pateta
Translation of article “Policia investiga se traficantes da Rocinha mataram ex-comparsas.” From O Globo, published February 16, 2012.
RIO – The Civil Police are investigating the deaths of Thiago Schimmer Cáceres, aka Leão or Pateta (“Lion” or “Goofy”), and Rodrigo Tavares de Paula, aka Rodrigo PQD. The bodies were discovered on Thursday, on Estrada das Canoas in São Conrado. Cáceres was killed by gunshots and stab wounds. According to police, he was known in Rocinha as the right-hand man of Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, aka Nem, the ex-chief of drug traffic in the favela, who was arrested in November 2011. Two other missing men may have been killed by traffickers still operating in Rocinha. The community has been occupied by the Military Police for the past three months, and is slated to receive a Police Pacification Unit (UPP) in March.
The deaths occurred on Rua 2 [a main road in Rocinha], after an encounter with the trafficker Amaro Pereira da Silva, aka Neto (“Grandson”). He may have formed an alliance with Rodrigo Belo, aka Rodrigão, and betrayed his old cohorts. The police are still investigating the disappearance of Renato Araújo, aka Meio Quilo (“Half Kilo”), who may have been killed by traffickers as well. His family registered his disappearance at the police precinct in Gávea on February 9th. Meio Quilo’s motorcycle was found at a gas station near Rocinha. Delegate Fábio Barucke is investigating what appears to have been a coup d’etat in Rocinha’s drug traffic power structure. Residents allege that traffickers returned to the favela after BOPE withdrew following the initial invasion.
Rio’s Security Secretary, José Mariano Beltrame, stated that “any disturbances” in the favela could have been committed by traffickers attempting undermine the occupation.
Posted in Crime, José Mariano Beltrame, Rio de Janeiro, UPP
Tagged José Mariano Beltrame, Leão/Pateta, Nem, Neto, Polícia Civil, Polícia Militar, Rocinha, Rodrigão, Rodrigo PQD, UPP
View of Rio's North Zone
Security Secretary José Mariano Beltrame faced a series of situations in 2011 that shook public confidence in law enforcement: Numerous instances of police corruption came to light. Judge Patrícia Acioli was murdered at the order of a Military Police officer; this revelation led to the resignation of the PM commander. The Military Police’s elite force, BOPE, has been accused of human rights violations. The past year will also be remembered for Beltrame’s successes, most notably the peaceful invasion of Rocinha. Five UPPs were installed, two of them in the large favelas of São Carlos and Mangueira. Three of Rio’s most wanted drug traffickers, Polegar, Marcelinho Niterói, and Nem da Rocinha, were arrested or killed.
Security Secretary Beltrame
In the following interview, Beltrame discusses anti-corruption strategies, pacifying Rio’s North Zone, and gambling rings.
Translation of article “‘A Zone Norte é a bola da vez: Jacarezinho, Maré, e Manguinhos’, diz Beltrame.” Published by O Dia on December 24, 2011.
O Dia - How was 2011, secretary? It started poorly and ended well, with the occupation of Rocinha.
Beltrame - I am very skeptical of victories. I always believe that things are better than they were, but what comes next is what matters.
Posted in Crime, Interview, José Mariano Beltrame, Rio de Janeiro, UPP
Tagged BOPE, Colonel Mário Sérgio Duarte, Complexo da Maré, Jacarezinho, jogo do bicho, José Mariano Beltrame, Manguinhos, Patricia Acioli, police corruption, Polícia Civil, Polícia Federal, Polícia Militar, Rocinha, Santa Teresa, UPP
In this text interview, Rio Radar speaks to a longtime resident of Rocinha about the invasion of the community and the upcoming installation of a Police Pacification Unit (UPP). The resident asked to remain anonymous because they did not want their name linked to a public discussion of police operations in Rocinha. The area where the resident lives was supposed to be upgraded by PAC 2, but the projects were left unfinished when PAC stopped work in Rocinha.
In this interview, the resident discusses the effect of drug trafficking on children, Nem’s arrest, the relationship between pacification and business, and the importance of addressing infrastructure problems in Rocinha.
Rocinha, one of the largest favelas in Rio, was invaded early yesterday morning by BOPE
, the Shock Battalion, the Military
, Federal, and Civil Police
, reinforced by armored personnel carriers and light tanks. The invasion, called “Operation Shock of Peace” was intended to clear the remaining rug traffickers out of the community in preparation for the installation of a UPP
–the last and largest in Rio’s South Zone. Authorities and residents were apprehensive about the operation, given that Rocinha is a large favela with an entrenched criminal infrastructure; however, after Nem, Rocinha’s chief trafficker, was captured
, a firefight seemed unlikely. The invasion made front page news in Rio
, and the international media took note as well; the operation was covered by the New York Times
, and many more.
BOPE truck in Rocinha
This week Rio Radar will publish an interview with a Rocinha resident about the prospect of pacification. RR editor Zoë Roller was in Rocinha on the day of the invasion and wrote the following observations.
Posted in News, Rio de Janeiro, UPP
Tagged BOPE, Col. Pinheiro Neto, Lt. Col. Wilman René Gonçalves Alonso, Nem, Polícia Civil, Polícia Federal, Polícia Militar, Rocinha, UPP