Rio de Janeiro: Preparations for "war" unfold live on TV

Rio de Janeiro: Preparations for "war" unfold live on TV

Residents of Rio de Janeiro were perplexed Thursday as they watched, live on television, the movements of hundreds of armed gang members getting ready for a clash with police, dpa reported.

The powerful Brazilian television network Globo broadcast footage taken at midday from a helicopter ahead of a major police raid on two local slums, known as favelas.

The footage showed alleged gangs in the favela Vila Cruzeiro carrying heavy weapons as they moved through the forest towards the nearby slum Complexo do Alemao. They were reportedly planning to join local criminals there in order to fight police together.

Also Thursday, police enlisted six Brazilian army tanks to back up their attempt to occupy these two slums.

Rio de Janeiro is set to host several matches of the 2014 football World Cup, including the final, as well as the 2016 Olympics, the first ever held in South America.

Initial skirmishes between alleged criminals and police were minor. Some suspects fell to the ground as they attempted to escape, injured by bullets shot by police, but the real clash was still believed to be coming. It remained uncertain whether it would indeed take place or whether the drug gangs would opt to disband instead.

The televised movements marked a new chapter in the atmosphere of tension that took over the city on Sunday, when criminals launched a wave of arson attacks on buses and other vehicles around the city.

Local authorities interpreted the wave of attacks as revenge for a new public security policy, which aims to push drug gangs out of the favelas through a combination of police action and social welfare programmes.

The Rio de Janeiro state government and its Public Security Minister Jose Mariano Beltrame have also increased the pressure on drug gang leaders in prison. Many have been transferred to maximum- security jails in the southern Brazilian state of Parana and the Amazonian state of Rondonia.

Although 17,500 police officers have been deployed on the streets with backing from the Army, guerrilla attacks continued Thursday for the fifth consecutive day. A total of 55 vehicles have been set on fire across the city since Sunday.

Clashes between police and the drug gangs have claimed at least 23 lives over these five days, police said. Unconfirmed reports put the death toll at 27.

At least 21 people were have also been treated in hospital since Wednesday for bullet and grenade wounds.

While Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral has insisted people should remain calm and go about their daily business, the wave of violence has inevitably affected the lives of cariocas, as Rio's residents are known.

At least 4,000 children and teenagers were left without class Thursday as police prepared a raid on the slums where they live. Several public transportation companies decided to cancel bus services in the face of arson attacks.

Fear was especially apparent in the affected favelas. According to the Namko van Buuren, a Dutchman who heads the Brazilian Institute of Social Health Innovations (Ibiss), residents of Vila Cruzeiro are afraid to leave their homes.

   "They are trying to hide behind the concrete of their homes for fear of stray bullets," Van Buuren told the website UOL.

Ibiss helps about 5,400 children daily in Vila Cruzeiro.

   In this favela, 14-year-old Rosangela Alves on Wednesday became the first victim of the conflict with no ties to drug trafficking. She was struck by a bullet as she did her homework on a computer, inside what should have been the safety of her own home.

A day after her death, the drug gangs left Vila Cruzeiro for the Complexo do Alemao, which many fear could become the site of a bloodbath in the drawn-out conflict between police and organized crime in Rio.

Armenia threatens not only Azerbaijan's energy security - energy minister
Armenia threatens not only Azerbaijan's energy security - energy minister
Natural gas supplied to village of Khulo of Georgian Adjara
Natural gas supplied to village of Khulo of Georgian Adjara
SOCAR Turkey may evaluate operational partnership for Aliaga port terminal
SOCAR Turkey may evaluate operational partnership for Aliaga port terminal
Loading Bars
UNICEF makes statement on Karabakh conflict calling on to protect children
Iran is next to people and state of Azerbaijan - special representative of Iranian President
Karabakh conflict must be resolved within territorial integrity of Azerbaijan - Special Representative of Iranian President (EXCLUSIVE)
Armenia should know that no provocation can hinder Azerbaijan on its way to victory - MoD
Pakistani ambassador condemns Armenia's attack against civilians in Azerbaijan's Barda
Manpower of Armenian Armed Forces destroyed (VIDEO)
Management of Azerbaijani Emergency Situation Ministry arrive in Barda
Azerbaijani artillerymen destroying Armenian troops' manpower (VIDEO)
Armenian troops firing at Azerbaijani civilian population destroyed with precise fire (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani FM holds telephone conversations with OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva: Such barbaric attacks show that atrocities of Armenians have no limits (PHOTO)
President Ilham Aliyev receives delegation led by Special Envoy of Iranian President (PHOTO)
Azercell stands by people in Barda!
Pakistan’s National Assembly adopts resolution condemning Armenian aggression
Armenian leadership acts as if it lost its mind - Turkish Foreign Ministry
Azerbaijani FM, US deputy secretary of state hold phone talks
Armenia threatens not only Azerbaijan's energy security - energy minister
Freedom of speech suppression by Armenian lobby in France unacceptable - analyst
Azerbaijan provides footage of Armenian troops, military equipment being destroyed (VIDEO)
Ministry of Emergency Situations staff among civilians killed in Azerbaijan’s Barda
Natural gas supplied to village of Khulo of Georgian Adjara
Turkmen FM takes part in second session of India-Central Asia Dialogue
Children among dead, wounded in Azerbaijan’s Barda due to Armenian terror - chief physician
Armenia responsible for death of Azerbaijani civilians - Turkish presidential administration
Armenians think shelling of cities will force Azerbaijan to end war - Russian expert
Iran unveils volume of loans issued to Golestan Province
Azerbaijan destroys Armenian troops (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan expands list of settlements banned with entry-exit due to COVID-19
'Reporters Without Borders' condemns Armenian online attacks against French TV reporter
SOCAR Turkey may evaluate operational partnership for Aliaga port terminal
Shelling of residential areas in Barda once again exposes Armenia's terrorist nature - MFA
Uzbekistan expects GDP to grow in 2021
State budget of Georgian Adjara to up in 2021
Turkey says export of domestic mining products to Georgia down
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price starts to fall
Missile attack on Barda once again proves terrorist essence of Armenia - Turkish MoD
President Ilham Aliyev: Blood of Barda residents will not remain unavenged, aggressors will be given decent rebuff on battlefield
Tethys reveals 9M2020 production results at Upper Aptian on KBD-02 sites
Turkmenistan remains main gas exporter to China
France raises import of mining industry products from Turkey in September
Azerbaijan extends special quarantine regime
Iran strongly condemns Armenia's missile attack on Azerbaijan's Barda
Iran's budget reliance on oil sale declines
President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijani Army liberated 13 villages of Zangilan, Fuzuli, Jabrayil and Gubadli districts
Azerbaijan Deposit Insurance Fund compensating thousands of closed banks' clients
U.S. goods trade deficit shrinks in September
Amount of licenses issued for setting up enterprises in Iran’s Bushehr Province grow
Renewables to play key role in energy sector's dev't, Iranian expert says
Armenian Army, inept as to collaborate with PKK, slaughtering Azerbaijanis - Turkish Ministry of Defense
Georgian GDG Group to open wine factory in 2021
Georgian metallurgical company Rustavi Poladi sees increase in its income
Uzbekistan, Turkey develop military cooperation
Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency provides access to finance for innovative project
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan postpone flights resumption date
Servicemen of Azerbaijani Internal Troops urgently sent to Barda
Armenia does not seek to resolve Karabakh conflict peacefully - US military expert
Industrial gas flow obtained at exploration wells in Uzbekistan
Armenian Armed Forces again fire at Azerbaijan’s Tartar by using Grad multiple rocket launchers
Morocco lowers defense products' import from Turkey
Volume of loans issued to manufacturing enterprises in Iran’s Bushehr Province revealed
Azerbaijan drafting laws on gas supply, energy
EAEU countries export large various fabrics to Turkmenistan
Iran enlarges value of exports from Malayer customs
Azerbaijan confirms 340 more COVID-19 recoveries
General Prosecutor's Office gives update on number of victims as result of missile strike on Azerbaijan’s Barda (PHOTO)
If Armenia continues to attack civilians, Azerbaijan to take adequate measures - Assistant to president
Using mosque in Azerbaijan's Zangilan as pigpen is insult to Muslims - Culture Ministry
Romanian expert says digitalization of economy to improve security of EU's energy system
Armenia used cluster munitions to inflict excessive casualties among civilians in Barda - assistant to Azerbaijani president
Kazakhstan's import from Lithuania increases amid COVID-19
Armenian military group annihilated after failed sabotage attempt in Azerbaijan's Zangilan (VIDEO)
Armenian Armed Forces shelling Azerbaijan’s Tartar again
Azerbaijani Armed Forces take revenge for Barda (VIDEO)
By disseminating disinformation, Armenia trying to divert attention from its war crimes
Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency Situations continues search, rescue operations in Barda
Uzbekistan’s 9M2020 export of textile products up
Cluster bomb attacks are new act of genocide against Azerbaijani people - President's aide
Azerbaijan eyes increasing private investment in renewable energy sector - minister
Latest situation in Azerbaijan’s Barda as result of Armenian terror (VIDEO)
Branch of Russia's Tatneft in Turkmenistan opens tender for installation work
Georgia to build anchovy fishing boat in Turkey
National Bank of Georgia decides to keep refinancing rate unchanged
Assistant to president invites military attaches to visit Azerbaijan’s Barda
Unprecedented number of people apply to participate in Produce in Georgia program
Georgian Natenadze’s Wine Cellar company resumes exports of wines
Armenia's attacks on Azerbaijani settlements - attack against civilized world - Assistant to president
Auction for placing Azerbaijani CBA's short-term notes held
Azerbaijan invites Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International to conduct on site assessment of Armenian crimes - top official
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 28
Serious environmental crimes committed in occupied territories of Azerbaijan must be immediately stopped
Missile attack on Azerbaijan’s Barda - crime against humanity – Foreign Ministry
Transition to clean energy in Azerbaijan becomes essential - ECO's Secretary General
Azerbaijani FM meets Deputy FM of Iran
Turkey's export of mining industry products to China up in September
Shelling of Barda - gross violation of int'l humanitarian law, says Ambassador of Kazakhstan
Armenian Armed Forces shelling Azerbaijan’s Goranboy, Tartar - Defense Ministry
Azerbaijan shows fragments of missiles Armenia launched on Barda city (PHOTO)
Solar to be dominant source of electricity generation in Europe
Turkey increases export of mining industry products to Azerbaijan
Total amount of transactions on Turkmen Commodity Exchange for Sept. 2020
All news