Bolsonaro congratulates police action in Rio de Janeiro slum where 18 people were killed

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday congratulated the Police for their performance on Thursday during an operation in a Rio de Janeiro favela against organized crime in which 18 people were killed.

A 50-year-old woman, a military policeman and “16 criminals” lost their lives, as detailed by the spokesman of the Brazilian Civil Police, Ivan Blaz, in statements reported by ‘O Globo’.

After the operation, which has been one of the deadliest ever recorded in the Brazilian capital, the police have been criticized by the relatives of the dead woman for a “disproportionate use” of force.

However, Bolsonaro has refused to offer solidarity to the victims of the operation in the Alemao favela complex, in the north of the Brazilian capital, and has only lamented the death of the police officer, whom he called a “paratrooper brother,” reported ‘Folha de S.Paulo’.

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“I will not go into details about this mother is innocent (…). If I’m going to phone all the relatives of those who die every day I …. This fact has had repercussions, he is a paratrooper, he is my brother and it is over. Congratulations to the Military Police”, he added.

Asked if he was in solidarity with the rest of the victims, Bolsonaro has said, “You are in solidarity with these people, okay?”, has expressed the Brazilian president in statements collected by ‘Correio Braziliense’.

According to the version of neighbors and police witnesses collected by the mentioned newspaper, the “massacre” would have been motivated in retaliation for the death of the police officer, who would have lost his life when he was wounded by a gunshot at the beginning of the operation.

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The Brazilian Civil Police intended to disarticulate a group of vehicle thieves that was “heavily armed.” The commander of the Special Police Operations Battalion, Uirá Nascimento, has maintained that the operation “was necessary,” as intelligence data indicated that the gang was able to move and commit criminal actions in the city, such as invading other favelas and robbing banks.

Thursday’s intervention is one of the deadliest in the Brazilian capital. The deadliest operation in the state of Rio de Janeiro took place in May 2021, in the favela of Jacarezinho, in which 28 people died, including a civilian police officer, according to ‘Folha De S.Paulo’.

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