By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Clashes continue in Rio’s Zona Norte (North Zone) today, Friday, April 11th, following the Military Police’s repossession of the Favela Oi. Bus fires, injuries, arrests, and disruption of traffic have been reported throughout the day with the clashes spreading in the North Zone to the neighboring favela of Rato Molhado at the time of this report.
Favela Oi, also known Favela da Oideram and Favela do Telerj, is an area located in Engenho Novo, Zona Norte where an estimated 5,000 families had been rapidly developing an informal settlement since Monday, March 31st.
The telecommunications company Oi obtained a court injunction to repossess the area after stating that it was the location of a deactivated warehouse.
An estimated 1,650 military police officers entered Favela Oi during the morning hours of Friday, April 11th to evict the residents and repossess the area.
The operation began at approximately 5AM with police telling occupants that they could no longer go home and tear gas was deployed at approximately 6:20 AM.
During the hours that followed, residents resisted, reportedly throwing stones at police and setting four buses, a military police car, two trucks and four buildings on fire. Reports of looting, arrests made and minor injures to both occupants and police were made throughout the morning.
Traffic is still disrupted in the area with motorists advised to avoid Avenida Dom Hélder Câmara, Rua Sousa Barros, Arquias Cordeiro and na Grajaú-Jacarepaguá and to use the Linha Amarela (Yellow Line) instead to access Avenida Brasil. Real time traffic, road closings and alternate routes are available on the Centro de Operações da Prefeitura website here.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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