Rio de Janeiro Drug WarNov 29, 2010
Living in the slums aka favelas of Rio de Janeiro is no laughing matter at the best of times as our Heaven and Hell series showed you, but the last couple of days have showed us that it is not just Mexico which has a drug war on its hands. Armed gangs and the special BOPE police have been fighting it out on the streets of the infamous Vila Cruzeiro favela. The aim of the police is to break the power of the drug gangs in the favela, but if a show of force is the right way to go about achieving this remains to be seen. In the meantime the bullets keep flying, the residents fear for their lives and the drugs keep being dealt. UPDATE 29 Nov 2010: We have added more images of the final assault on some of the slums and drug dealer dens. 46 People are known to have been killed in the violence which has lasted almost a week, but the police, BOPE, army and navy did finally reclaim some of the slums from the drug gangs.