Three more boys have been executed by the police in Rio de Janeiro, this time in Copacabana, in the latest police attack on favelas (communities inhabited by working poor).
Almost every day police kill somebody in Rio, using the ”war on drugs” to inflict terror on activists and citizens they want to keep under control. A woman who works for Human Rights witnessed BOPE attacking the favela Pavao-Pavaozinho and, in tears, she called it ”hell on earth.”
The killings were started by the local cops (militia) of the favela, at noon, when they hunted down a 26 Douglas Rafael da Silva, a professional dancer from a TV dancing show for the kids in the favelas. He was going to see his child and his girlfriend who live in the favela in Copacabana, south of Rio. When cops attacked him, he ran to hide in a school. Police caught him and killed him, leaving his body in the school, where he was found later.
Police later accused him of drug possession. His mother and his girlfriend told journalists that police are lying and smearing the victim of their murder, because he was not doing any drugs. Cops apparently admitted they mistook him for a drug dealer, but locals believe the killing was done on purpose. His family said police beat Douglas to death, as his body was covered in blood and wounds. Police said that a first investigation showed his death was ”compatible” to having been caused by a fall, but that of course is not what his family saw.
The police murder caused outrage among the residents. A police station was attacked. Residents reported gunfire being heard in the favela. They erected barricades and set them on fire, blocked down traffic and attacked cops with stones and water.
Locals report that police chased residents from helicopters, using lots of gunfire, and teargas grenades.
Huge crowds blocked the entrance into the favela, just a few blocks from Copacabana’s beaches.
After a short while, BOPE, the elite (killer cops) of the military police and helicopters, were deployed in Copacabana. Residents reported heavy fighting between the unarmed locals and the armed cops. They found proof that police used live ammunition. Streets were engulfed in smoke and teargas.
Mateus, a 12 year old boy, was killed when BOPE burst into a house from which people were throwing stones and water at them, swearing at and terrifying the residents. When they broke the door down, Mateus got scared and ran away. They chased him down and killed him. This was witnessed by a woman who works for the Human Rights, who was crying when she told livestreamers that ”this is living hell. Police are killing anybody.”
This was the second police murder in just a few hours. A third came a few minutes later as they burst into another house and shot Leo in the head, killing him, as his mother was trying to calm them down to leave.
It’s yet another example of the terror ”pacification” (militarization) police inflict on the locals after they occupy and take their homes under control. Pavao-Pavaozinho had been one of the first to be ”pacified” (read militarized) so that ”crime comes down”, and drug dealers are run out. Police admitted to the BBC that they ”failed”, and said that some part of the city would be ”under the control of the drug leaders.” What they did not say is that some of these drug dealers are their own, or work with the police. Favela Mare – home to 130,000 people – was invaded and occupied by the army and the military troops at the end of March, the pretext being ”to break the network of a drug lord.” Turns out the drug lord was working with the police, but that is ignored. In other favelas drug leaders are replaced by ex cops who go into the private sector.
Favelas are communities inhabited by working poor, but they are criminalized by the media and the police so that when somebody is gunned down by the state it can be easily covered up and ”normalized”.
2,000 people each year are known to be killed by police in Brazil, but the number could be much higher. Over the weekend, on Easter, cops killed two other people – a young man and a woman in her ’60s in the community of Caramujo, leading to residents to riot in protest.
In Mare, which is under military occupation, more than 50 poor people, have been assassinated by the state uniforms since the beginning of this year.
40,000 poor people in particular have gone missing since the pacification started, their family suspect they were killed the same way a father of 7 was – tortured and murdered, body never recovered – by 25 “Pacification” Police in a favela they militarized. Poor working people are terrorized not just by the police, but also by the capitalist class and the state, who are gentrifying the favelas, raising the rents and cots of life so that the working poor can be socially cleansed, and thrown to live on the streets. When they find a place and share it among themselves, military police evict them at gunpoint. This bloody war on poor and on predominantly black communities is expected to only get worse since it’s tolerated and accepted by FIFA and the rich who back it up.