[QODLink]
Americas

Rio 'pacified' slum hit by violence

One person killed in protests sparked by death of 25-year-old local from Pavao-Pavaozinho, a 'pacified' slum.

Last updated: 23 Apr 2014 12:11
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Violence broke out in a Rio de Janeiro slum after its residents lit fires and threw homemade explosives to protest the earlier death of a local.

At least one person was killed after gunfire was heard late on Tuesday in the Brazilian city when police officers moved into the Pavao-Pavaozinho slum, a few hundred metres from where Olympic swimming events are expected to take place in 2016.

It was the latest bout of unrest to hit one of Rio's "pacified'' slums - areas previously controlled by drug gangs but subjected to a security push by police in the run-up to this summer's World Cup. 

To date, 37 "police pacification units'' have been created, covering an area with a population of 1.5 million people. But there have been complaints of heavy-handed police tactics ending in the deaths of residents.

On Tuesday, the body of 25-year-old Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira was discovered in the slum. 

"The police beat my friend to death, just like they've tortured and killed in other communities,'' said Johanas Mesquita, a 23-year-old resident of Pavao-Pavaozinho told Associated Press News Agency. "This effort to pacify the favelas is a failure, the police violence is only replacing what the drug gangs carried out before.''

"The circumstances surrounding the death of Douglas are under investigation. An on-site report indicates Douglas's injuries are compatible with a death caused by a fall," police told news agency AFP in a short statement. "Witnesses and residents will be called upon to give evidence," the statement added.

Following the discovery of the body, people began lighting fires throughout the slum and tossing homemade explosives, bottles and other objects down onto Copacabana's main avenues. 

The ensuing violence led to a 30-year-old man being shot in the head. He died on arrival at a hospital, Globo's G1 web portal quoted health authorities as saying. It was unclear who shot him.

301

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.