By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Despite the ostensive presence of the armed forces and federal security forces in many places in the state of Rio de Janeiro, an English tourist was wounded in Angra dos Reis, a town a few hours southwest of the capital city, on Sunday when her family’s car entered a favela community by mistake.
According to the Federal Highway Police, the woman was with her husband and three children on the Rio-Santos Highway when she mistakenly entered the Água Santa community. The husband was able to reach a police highway post and the woman was taken to an area hospital where she underwent surgery and is hospitalized.
Officers told local newspapers that the couple did not speak Portuguese and their three children were heading towards Paraty. While looking for a place to buy bottled water they inadvertently ended up inside the community.
According to G-1 news website, the injured tourist was identified as 46-year-old Eloise Dixon. Dixon was struck by two shots which perforated her abdomen. “The projectile went through the abdomen and luckily did not hit large vessels or important organs. She was really lucky,” Rodrigo Mucheli, the hospital’s medical director told G-1.
During the weekend federal troops launched a major offensive against organized crime in several favela communities in the state as part of the second phase of the National Security Plan for Rio.
Nearly 10,000 federal troops were sent to Rio in the end of July as part of the federal government’s security plan to curb the increasing violence in and around one of Brazil’s most famous cities. The presence of federal troops is expected to be felt around the state until at least the end of 2018.