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Traffic and Militia War in Western Zone


Students take cover in the Complexo da Maré

Source: VEJA

Has all the hallmarks of Veja news reporting … the crude appeal to sentiment and the political pointed finger.

War between drug traffic and militia closes six Rio schools

Exchange of gunfire between two groups, at war over territorial control, prevents 2,238 students from attending class in Western Zone of Rio.

The turf wars between the drug traffic and the militia caused six schools to close their doors on Wednesday in the Western Zone of Rio. Due to the fear aroused by the confrontations, 2,238 students missed class. The region is protected by a single Police Pacification Unit (UPP) — even though this policy is a proven failure in areas where it has been implanted, such as the Rocinha slums and the Alemao complex.

The only pacified shantytown in the Western Zone is Batan, in Realengo, where a policeman died during a shootout in August. 

There has been intense gunfire in the Favela da Carobinha since Tuesday morning, when the militiamen who dominate the area were overrun by drug dealers. The criminal group arrived on foot and fired its weapons for at least half an hour. The militia fought back but were forced to withdraw. Preliminary reports indicate one death. The municipal secretary of education said the contents of the lessons lost because of violence in the area will be completed, but does not say when the six schools will return to normal.

Translation to continue.

In late October, more than 2,000 students from three schools in the Complexo da Maré, in the Northern Zone, suspended classes because of violence. The 22nd Military Police Battalion (BPM), in charge of public safety in the area, said there had been no operations inside the community, which will receive UPPs in 2014. At the time, the coordinator of the ONG Uerê, which assists students with learning problems, reports an outbreak of gunfire just as students were arriving for school. “We have been living with this insupportable level of violence since the beginning of this year. 

The chaos of violence between the two groups, both of which have escaped the state governent and its public security policy, add to the worsening statistics on violence in the state and public safety police.  On October, the Public Safety Institute  (ISP) showed that intentional homicides rose 38% in Rio en August, in comparison with August 2012. In absolute terms, the total rose from 294 to 406 cases.