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Rio de Janeiro's Drug War

Brazilian soldiers pour into Rio de Janeiro's Rocinha slum in a bid to quell drug-related violence. Rogério da Silva, 36, also known as Rogério 157, was seized in an Operation involving 3,000 Brazilian military and Police. He was wanted for homicide, extortion and drug trafficking, and a $15,000 reward had been offered for his arrest. “He was arrested by the police in an integrated operation by police and armed forces in the Arará Park favela,” a spokesman for the security forces said. “He did not resist. He was surrounded.” Rio’s O Globo newspaper said he was caught hiding under a duvet after jumping the wall of his safe house. His arrest marks a rare success for police in a city where violent crime is soaring, and where a much heralded pre-Olympic plan, to pacify favelas with armed police bases, has fallen apart as drug gangs have reoccupied territory.

The conflict reached new heights in September, and led to a Military Operation which failed to quell the violence. A month later a Spanish tourist was shot by police, who said the car she was travelling in went past a roadblock. “Rogério is one of the most wanted traffickers in Rio de Janeiro,” Bento said. “The arrest was very important to dismantle organised crime.” In recent months local media published photographs of da Silva wearing heavy jewellery. The Rio tabloid Extra said he had earned his nickname carrying out armed street robberies – 157 is the penal code article for the crime – before joining the drug gang led by Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, aka Nem, a Rocinha gang leader immortalised in the bestselling book . Nem was arrested fleeing the favela, hiding in the boot of a car, after the area was occupied in a military operation in 2011. He is still in prison.







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Rio de Janeiro's Drug War

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