By Ségolène Poirier, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A 41 year-old community leader from Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio was killed on Monday afternoon. This is the sixth reported murder since the November pacification force has occupied the area, and took place even though police presence was increased last week in Rocinha.
Vanderlan Barros de Oliveira, known as ‘Feijao’, was president of the association of residents, located in the lower part of the favela, where an estimated 120,000 people live.
He had just left a meeting at the headquarters of his organization when he was shot three times by a man wearing a motorcycle helmet.
Feijao (“bean”) was under investigation for alleged links to drug trafficking. The Federal Police investigation is seeking to dismantle the financial network of the head of the drug traffic in Rocinha Antonio Bonfim Lopes, alias “Nem”, who was arrested on November 9, 2011.
Vanderlan Barros de Oliveira was accused of being Nem’s treasurer and was scheduled to appear in Rio’s court for money laundering and gang forming, on April 3rd.
Police said Feijao was the victim of a settling of scores between rival factions fighting over the succession of “Nem”. One of the police’s hypothesis is that a man named ‘Canelao’, from the “Red Commando” faction, is involved in the murder of Feijao.
Vanderlan Barros de Oliveira was buried in Cemitério São João Batista, in Botafogo on Tuesday morning. Sixty people attended the funeral of the community leader, opened to parents and friends only. Press presence was not allowed during the ceremony.
Oliveira was also credited with negotiating the surrender and resolution of a hostage situation, following a violent shoot-out between gang members and police, at the luxury Hotel Intercontinental in São Conrado in August 2010.
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