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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A Spanish tourist was shot and killed in Rio de Janeiro on Monday morning, after the car she was in did not stop at a police blockade near one of Brazil’s largest favela communities, Rocinha.

Rio police shoot and kill Spanish tourist at the entrance of Rocinha community, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Rio police shoot and kill Spanish tourist at the entrance of Rocinha community, photo Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil.

The region has been plagued by violence for more than a month as police try to detain drug kingpins thought to be hiding in the community.

In a statement released by police after the incident, officials said that the tourist “was in a car that did not halt at a police roadblock in Largo do Boiadeiro, around 10:30 AM, and was therefore targeted by the officers.”

According to the motorist driving 67-year-old Maria Esperanza Jimenez Ruiz, neither he nor any of his passengers saw the police blockade and the order to stop.

Ruiz was hit in the neck with a bullet from a high power machine gun used by police officers in the area. She was taken to a nearby hospital but arrived dead.

In addition to Ruiz, two other Spanish and an Italian tourist were also in the car.

The Rocinha favela is among one of the most famous tourist attraction in the city, and not even the recent violence has deterred tourist agencies from taking visitors up to the community.

According to a note released by Rio police, statements were taken from the three officers at the scene and their weapons will be analyzed to see where the fatal shot came from.

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