By Michela DellaMonica, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Another protest closed the streets of Copacabana, the second since Tuesday evening, in relation to the shooting death of a Pavão Pavãozinho favela community resident, allegedly by police. Yesterday’s march followed the the burial of 26 year-old dancer Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira.
Hundreds of people demanding justice, marched from St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Botafogo to the Pavão Pavãozinho favela community which sits behind Copacabana.
Tension grew when a group began to clash with police. Business owners nearby were forced to close their doors early. Police used tear gas bombs outside the favela to keep the rally at bay.
Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, the main street in the Zona Sul (South Zone) neighborhood, closed for about thirty minutes including sections of Sá Ferreira, Tunnel Mayor Sá Freire Alvim and the intersection of Rua Barata Ribeiro and Rua Miguel Lemos, where the protests were taking place. At least a hundred policemen and traffic officers were at the scene.
The 26-year-old’s mother, as well as many members of the community, accuse police officers from their hillside community’s Police Pacifying Unit (UPP) of shooting the young dancer. Investigations have been launched into the incident, following the Pavão Pavãozinho protests.
Earlier this year saw the indictment of 24 policemen and UPP commander Edson Santos, who were implicated in the disappearance of Amarildo de Souza, a bricklayer from Rocinha who vanished last July. The relationship between residents of pacified favelas and police continues to be tense as the city races toward hosting the mega events of the World Cup in June and the 2016 Olympics.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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