300 Policemen Take Over Two Rio Favelas. Operation Olympic Clean Up Starts

Cantagalo slum With the occupation initiated this Monday, November 30,  of the Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo favelas (slums), in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, which are controlled by drugs traffickers, the Rio Military police is starting an operation that by the end of 2010 should be offering what they call "community security" to 30% of those who live in favelas in the city. This will mean that about 300 thousand people will be living in areas protected by the UPPs (Peacemaking Police Units).

These numbers were calculated by José Mariano Beltrame, Rio de Janeiro state's secretary of Public Security. He also said that another two communities will get Police Peacemaking units before the end of the year.

"This proposal is not going to stop. It is a concrete gesture that we are prepared to do us and will continue to do it. And we will have a great number of helped people up to the end of the next year. We intend to reach 30% of the communities, which endure today the territory logic imposed by the assault rifle, free from this weapon, free from the control of these crooks," said Beltrame.

For the UPPs alone will be assigned 3,300 military policemen. They will be chosen, preferentially, among young recruits and they will get a salary bonus of, at least, 500 reais (US$ 285), paid for by Rio's city hall by means of an agreement. In the Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo's UPP will be detailed 250 military men.

The strategy of permanently occupying the communities controlled by the organized crime, instead of only holding individual operations, is part an integration policy in the favelas where about a million people live, through projects of Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) together with programs of basic sanitation infrastructure, lighting services, opening of streets and house building.

Five communities already have their UPPs: Batan and Cidade de Deus, in the west side, and Santa Marta, Babilônia and Chapéu Mangueira hills, in the south side.

The operation in the Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo favelas started Monday morning. About 300 military policemen, most of them form the elite force Bope (Special Operation Battalion) took over the community. During the action, the policemen gave battle to drug traffickers. A man died and another was arrested. According to the police, both were linked to drug trafficking.

ABr

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