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Brazilian Police Kill Drug Lord. Gangs Fight to Control His Cocaine Points.

One of Brazil’s most wanted drug lords was killed in a shootout with police Saturday in Rio de Janeiro’s largest slum, authorities said.

Erismar Rodrigues Moreira, known as Bem-te-vi, was shot to death during an anti-drug raid on the Rocinha shantytown, said Ricardo Gouveia, a spokesman with Rio’s public safety secretariat.

More than 150 police officers entered the shantytown Friday evening to arrest Moreira and members of his gang, police said. The gunfight began early Saturday morning, lasting nearly two hours.

Moreira, accompanied by nearly 20 heavily armed men at the time of the shooting, died of gunshot wounds to the head and chest, police said. The confrontation also left another gang member dead and at least three Rocinha residents injured.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many gang members were arrested.

The operation, dubbed "Troy," had been planned for three weeks with intelligence from several undercover officers living at Rocinha, police said.

Another shooting broke out at Rocinha on Saturday afternoon, despite the presence of about 30 officers who stayed behind to prevent other confrontations between gangs battling for control of drug-selling spots.

"The operation will continue," Rio de Janeiro State Security Secretary Marcelo Itagiba told the government news service Agência Brasil. "Arresting criminals is a job that never ends."

Authorities said the later fighting was likely between gang members in Rocinha and the neighboring Vidigal shantytown a turf war between gangs from the two neighborhoods has left nearly 30 people dead this year alone.

The gunfight forced police to block traffic on nearby streets for nearly one hour, but there were no reports of injuries.

Police said Moreira allegedly controlled drug traffic on the hills of Rocinha since April 2004, when police killed former drug boss Luciano Barbosa da Silva, better known as Lulu.

In July, Moreira shut down a major tunnel in Rio after police killed one of his gang members during the drug lord’s birthday celebration in the shantytown.

The Rocinha shantytown, perched on the hills overlooking some of Rio’s richest neighborhoods and most famous beaches, is a cocaine vending point for the city’s well-off residents.

Rio is one of the most violent cities in the world with a homicide rate of around 50 per 100,000. Most of the violence is confined to the shantytowns and the city’s poor north side, reported AP.

This article appeared originally in Pravda – www.pravda.ru.

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • Guest

    Legalize it.
    After all these killings, the drugs will never stop moving from the favelas to the rich/middle class. Another individual will take its place. It’s been like that for along time. The government never cared for the poor and the poor help each other by not waiting for a hand out of the corrupt government officials. It’s a cat and rat game. The police keeps the money and the police steal the money from their safe. Just like a couple months ago. It’s a great reason to keep killing the poor. Power to the people. How about improving the borders where the drugs are interring the country. Send the drugs back to Columbia, U.S.A. and Europe where they consume the most with out killing each other but throwing everyone in jail.

  • Guest

    The poor require a great education system, otherwise this dependence on drug money and drug use will always exist.
    Maybe the drug money seized in these raids should go into schooling and not police or governments hands.

    Brazils reputation is at stake !! It will always be considered a third world !!!!

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