Brazil’s government is undertaking a massive cleanup of its urban slums, also known as favelas, but some residents are being left behind.
About 2,000 Brazilian police officers in riot gear have forcefully evicted 7,000 residents of a community in Sao Jose dos Campos, about 100km from the city of Sao Paulo.
The site, known as ‘Pinheirinho,’ had been occupied since 2004, and settlers had built homes there. The police were executing a court order to remove the residents.
Police deployed about 2,000 men, 40 dogs and 100 police on horseback as well as helicopters and armoured vehicles in Sunday’s raid.
Officers used tear gas and rubber bullets, according to a preliminary report on the incident. Hundreds of residents spent the night in emergency accommodation.
The occupied site belonged to a firm that went bankrupt and whose assets are to serve to pay creditors.
Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo went to Sao Jose dos Campos to visit some of those left homeless.