After a deadly drug raid in a Rio slum that left 28 people dead, the city police are called on to explain and be held to account. Camp Bolsonaro believes that all those who died were “scoundrels”.
The Rio de Janeiro police were ordered to explain themselves on May 7 for their bloody operation in a favela which resulted in 28 deaths the day before, according to a new report, and on which the UN has requested the opening of an independent investigation. A previous report reported 25 dead, including a police officer.
Hundreds of protesters marched in the favela from Jacarezinho, in the north of Rio, where the police operation was carried out, chanting: “Stop killing us!”
“We are here to demand that justice be done after this unjustifiable massacre,” student Roger Denis told AFP.
Anger was also fueled by reports that some of the victims were killed in cold blood during the deadliest drug operation ever in the United States. favelas of this Brazilian metropolis where the most underprivileged populations live, mostly black, accustomed to murderous police raids. Police were targeting drug traffickers accused of recruiting children and adolescents in Jacarezinho, considered a base for the comando ermelho (the red commando), the largest drug trafficking gang in Rio de Janeiro.
At dawn, the raid transformed this favela in a war zone. Some residents said they saw corpses lying in the middle of pools of blood in the alleys. A woman told AFP that a young man was shot dead inside his house where he had taken refuge after being shot and wounded. “The police saw blood and came in shouting: where is he? I just had time to take my kids to the back while they killed him in the bedroom, ”she added.
Another resident told the UOL website that her husband was shot at point blank range by the police while he was going to buy bread. “They executed him!” She exclaimed. Police said they followed procedures before opening fire while seizing large quantities of drugs and firearms.
Among the dead is a police officer who was shot in the head and whose funeral on May 7 in the afternoon gave rise to a moving tribute from his colleagues and movements advocating a safe turn of the screw in a gangrenous Brazil. through violence and drugs.
The 27 other dead are “suspects”, assured the police, who will have to prove it and explain why these people were not arrested. During the coronavirus pandemic that still rages in Rio, police raids have been suspended by the Supreme Court. Judge Edson Fachin, of the same Supreme Court, on May 7 ordered the federal prosecutor’s office and that of Rio to investigate two videos posted on social networks, one of which “shows an action which, in theory, could represent an extra-judicial execution ”.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was “deeply concerned” the same day in Geneva and asked the Brazilian justice to conduct an “independent and impartial investigation”. “We have received disturbing reports that […] the police failed to take steps to preserve evidence at the crime scene, which could hamper investigations, ”High Commission spokesperson Rupert Colville said.
The camp of Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters sided with the police. The president maintains close ties with the police and the army and was elected at the end of 2018 with a program in favor of the possession of weapons, promising an end to insecurity. “They were all bad guys,” reacted his vice-president, General Hamilton Mourao, of the deceased.
One of the sons of the head of state, deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, criticized those who implicate the police. “These guys are rascals. When a police officer is killed, they stand up for the murderers, ”he wrote on Twitter. “I think I’m more disgusted by these white collar workers who defend the traffickers than by the traffickers themselves,” said Bolsonaro’s son.
The city of Rio is used to police violence, which last year left 1,245 dead in the eponymous state, more than in the United States as a whole. The police are also very rarely prosecuted.