'This is a war scene’: Rio residents grieve, protest against deadly police raid
At least 25 people were killed on Thursday in a police raid on a poor community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now, residents and local officials are demanding answers — and accountability.
On Thursday, the residents of the poor Jacarezinho favela in the north end of Rio de Janeiro woke up to the sound of gunshots.
All told, it was the deadliest Rio de Janeiro police operation — ever.
At least 25 people were killed, including one police officer; three people were injured and two passengers were hit by stray bullets on a passing train.
Civil police said they had prepared the raid for 10 months, with plans to arrest 21 members of a criminal gang accused of enticing children and adolescents into drug trafficking. They said they detained 10 people, followed all protocols, and didn’t celebrate the high death count.
For residents, the day was a nightmare. They want answers. The United Nations has also called for a prompt investigation.
On Thursday morning, police helicopters hovered over the neighborhood.
“That’s a problem,” says a man off camera, in a video posted on Twitter by the local Jacarezinho media team Labjaca. “Those guys are shooting down on the neighborhood from up above.”
About 200 officers participated in the police raid.
“We are stuck inside, suffocating from the tear gas, and we can’t go out,” one resident posted on Twitter.
As the hours passed, the body count rose.
When the bullets stopped flying, residents poured out from their homes onto the streets in protest.
“Murderers!” dozens of young women shout in a video livestreamed over social media. They marched through the narrow streets of the neighborhood chanting: “Justice, justice, justice.”
“They pointed the gun at me and said I was going to die,” said a woman who said her son was killed. In a video shared online, women beside her keep repeating “killers, killers.”
Related: International group of lawyers investigates US police brutality
‘This is a war scene’
“This is not democracy,” said Joel Luiz Costa, a lawyer who grew up in Jacarezinho, and who spent the afternoon witnessing the aftermath and collecting testimonies from residents.
In a Twitter video, he speaks to the camera, his eyes bloodshot from tears. “This is a war scene,” he said. “And we don’t deserve to live in a war scene. It’s not fair. What kind of a Mother’s Day are people going to have?”
His photos, shared widely over social media, are devastating. Wrecked homes. Floors covered in blood. Walls peppered with bullet holes. He said he visited five or six homes.
Link da matéria : https://www.pri.org/stories/2021-05-07/war-scene-rio-residents-grieve-protest-against-deadly-police-raid