By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The state of Rio de Janeiro has been facing increased violence against its police force, while officers were both on- and off-duty in the last year. Now in just the last 48 hours, major news agency O Globo reported that three police offices have been shot and killed.
The most recent policeman was killed late Sunday night, in the Baixada Fluminense according to reports. Officer Diego Moutinho da Silva Maia, 29 years old, was at a bar with friends when shot in the head and killed by four armed suspects in Chatuba, Mesquita, which is a municipality of about 182,546 on the outskirts of Rio.
Over the weekend, two military police (PM) officers were killed and five were wounded. According to the Military Police, one of them was shot dead in a gun battle that took place around 2AM in the Morro do Juramento, Vicente Carvalho, in Zona Norte (North Zone).
According to the 41 BPM precinct (in Irajá), the police were on patrol in Vicente de Carvalho. Three police officers were injured and sergeant Marcelli Oliveira de Salles succumbed to his injuries.
In the early evening of Saturday, another police officer, who worked in the Intelligence Coordination of the Military Police, was killed. According to information from 20 BPM precinct (in Mesquita), the soldier’s body Adson Nunes da Silva, was wounded by gunfire and left at a hospital by an unidentified vehicle.
Also on Saturday, three military police officers had been shot in different locations with Pacifying Police Units (UPP). Two were attacked in Complexo do Alemão – one was hit in the head and the other in the abdomen – and the third in the Morro da Providencia, in the harbor area. The Office of Pacifying Police did not release the name of the PMs.
In a report by the Institute for Public Safety (ISP) on February 23rd, the number of murders fell from 464 to 442, while attempts for murder rose by 11.5 percent from 557 cases to 621. In the same time, deaths caused by police interventions, classified as resisting arrest, grew by 28 percent and stood at 64 cases, fourteen more than in 2014.
In December 2014, Rio de Janeiro’s state security secretary, Jose Mariano Beltrame, and top military and civil police chiefs held a press conference to discuss the recent wave of violence against police officers in the city. Since the beginning of the 2014 to that date, more than 106 police officers had been killed in Rio’s Metropolitan area. Since January, 57 police officers were shot in Rio, and of these, seventeen died.