By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalions) assisted by Navy tanks, military police (PMs) and civil police and Federal Highway Police aircraft successfully occupied the Zona Norte (North Zone) favelas of Jacarezinho and Manguinhos in the early hours of Sunday, October 14th, 2012.
The night leading up to the 5AM occupation was reportedly quiet with operations completed within 20 minutes, according to a report by the authorities.
Fireworks were launched in Manguinhos but no confrontations were reported, while in Jacarezinho shots were fired at arriving agents.
One unidentified young man was injured by shrapnel after reportedly setting fire to a barricade. The Ambulance Coordination of Special Resources (CORE) attended him and his current health status was unavailable at the time of this report.
Five hours after the occupations started, Rio governor Sergio Cabral accompanied by deputy governor of Rio, Luiz Fernando Silva, announced a series of new measures for the now occupied communities.
The announcement promised that the region will receive investments for construction of 9,000 projects as part of the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) and that the Manguinhos refinery will be explored and undergo a soil decontamination process.
“Peacemaking is not an ephemeral action. It is a strategy of the state government for public security in Rio de Janeiro. We will have a Police Pacification Unit [UPP] in Manguinhos by December this year and another in Jacarezinho by January 2013,” Cabral said, adding “The strategy is not outside of the communities. It is a process of permanent presence of security forces.”
A Brazilian and Rio de Janeiro flag were hoisted by officials in the square of Manguinhos at 10AM as a symbol of the community’s renewed peace.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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