SUPPORT US

In The Media

Helicopter Crashes in Rio Slum Shootout as Murders Rise

by Mimi Yagoub (feat. Robert Muggah)

InSight Crime
November 21, 2016

A shootout between military police and gangs in an emblematic Rio de Janeiro slum saw a helicopter crash and at least 11 people killed last weekend, while violence rises city-wide thanks to weakened security forces and emboldened criminal groups.

During a November 19 police operation against alleged criminals in Rio de Janeiro's City of God slum, a helicopter crashed to the ground, killing all four agents on board, the BBC reported.

While initial reports suggested that the helicopter had been shot down by gangs, authorities later revealed that no bullet holes had been found on the vehicle or its crew, O Globo reported. The cause of the crash has not yet been disclosed.

The helicopter had been supporting an operation that began after agents of the Police Pacification Unit (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora - UPP) were attacked near the City of God slum, according to official sources cited by El Mundo. The following day, locals discovered seven corpses that had been missing since Saturday's operation in a nearby wooded area, O Globo reported. The bodies showed signs of torture and possible execution.

Police operations continued on Sunday, leading to several arrests. Rio de Janeiro State Security Secretary Roberto Sá announced that the military police will remain in the area for an "undetermined" period of time.

Violence levels are rising throughout the city. Rio's murder rate rose almost 18 percent in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2015. Police-related killings, arms trafficking, muggings, and other petty crimes have also increased in the city.

The recent spate of violence is illustrative of a number of critical security issues in Rio, as well as wider organized crime dynamics.

According to multiple security experts consulted by InSight Crime, City of God is controlled by the Red Command (Comando Vermelho - CV) organization, which is in conflict with paramilitary "militia" groups in the adjacent Gardênia Azul slum. Igarapé Institute Research Director Robert Muggah said that CV members had moved into Gardênia Azul and were later met by UPP agents upon their return to the City of God, which is when the firefight began.

The magnitude of the ensuing battle is a sign of what Muggah describes as the "collapse of state legitimacy" in Brazil, and specifically in Rio de Janeiro. A financial crisis in Rio, which led the federal government to freeze the state's accounts earlier in November, has weakened local authorities' capacity to fight crime. 

One consequence is that the maintenance of equipment -- such as helicopters -- has been hard-hit. Gangs have also become more aggressive in their attempts to reclaim lost territory.

"Gangs smell [the police's] weakness," Muggah told InSight Crime. "What we then have is a reorganization of the geopolitics of crime." 

The clearest example of this weakness, Muggah said, has been the failure of the pacification program launched in 2008. This started crumbling around 2013, and there has since been a rise in the number of armed clashes in so-called "pacified" areas.

 


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
UPCOMING EVENTS


No events are scheduled at this time.


SEARCH
EXPERTS IN THE MEDIA

Passport? What passport?

by Martin C. Barr (feat. Andrew Griffith), Laval News, June 29, 2022

Oil production test looms for OPEC heavyweights Saudi Arabia, UAE

by Editorial Staff (feat. Ellen Wald), S&P Global, June 29, 2022

Eric Nuttall & Amrita Sen - Oil & Energy Update

by Eric Nuttall (feat. Amrita Sen), Nine Point Partners, June 29, 2022

All talk, no traction

by Maura Forest and Andy Blatchford (feat. Robert Huebert), Politico, June 29, 2022

U.S. pushes for Russian oil price ceiling. Feasible?

by Matt Levin (feat. Ellen Wald), MARKETPLACE, June 28, 2022

Russia Ukraine Update

by Susan Bonner (feat. Andrew Rasiulis), CBC Radio One, June 28, 2022

Un sommet de l’OTAN pour tenir tête à la Russie

by Marie Vastel (feat. David Perry), Le Devoir, June 26, 2022

A geopolitical alternative system of co-operation for nations

by Staff Reporter (feat. Swaran Singh), The Zimbabwe Mail, June 26, 2022

Analyst says high oil prices spurs little drilling

by Lee Harding (feat. Kevin Birn), Western Standard, June 26, 2022

It’s time for Canada to get serious about defence

by John Ibbitson (feat. James Fergusson and Rob Huebert), The Globe and Mail, June 25, 2022

Trudeau meets with Rwandan president, expands diplomatic mission in Kigali

by CBC Newsroom Staff (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC Newroom, June 24, 2022

With New Threats Looming, Canada Commits Billions to Air Defense

by News Desk (feat. Andrea Charron), New Express News, June 24, 2022

Drop in oil prices is not a quick fix for global inflation

by Editorial Staff (feat. Amrita Sen), The National, June 24, 2022

Highs and Lows of the Spring Sitting

by Peter Van Dusen (feat. Andrew Griffith), Prime Time Politics, June 24, 2022

Oil Incurs Second Weekly Loss As Analysts Differ On Inflation, Demand

by Ship and Bunker News Team (feat. Amrita Sen), Ship And Bunker, June 24, 2022


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 150–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2022 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email