By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Complexo da Penha favela community in Rio’s Zona Norte (North Zone) is set to have two UPPs (Police Pacification Units) installed within the next fifteen to twenty days. Officers from the city’s Polícia Militar (Military Police, PM) have already started taking the reins from Special Police Operations Battalion (BOPE) forces, the primary strike force in the “pacification” process.
The new UPPs will serve the Caixa D’água, Carocol, Fé, Grotão, Paz and Sereno communities in the Penha area, according to the PM’s Colonel Frederico Caldas, as well as in Chatuba where BOPE’s command base is located.
The exact details of who will patrol which areas is yet to be made public. Arrests continue to be made in the area, with large amounts of arms and drugs, including crack, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana, also seized.
BOPE spokesman Major Ivan Blaz says the second stage for the battalion will involve forging closer ties with local communities, and meetings have already been held with residents to explain how the “pacification” of the area will be carried out.
Police are asking those in the area, including motorists driving through the region, to carry ID with them to aid police forces patrolling the area.
BOPE are also carrying out operations in other favelas, such as Metral and Vila Kennedy in the Zona Oeste (West Zone), whose gangs are said to share a criminal affiliation with traffickers in Penha.
The 22nd UPP was inaugurated in the Adeus and Baiana favela communities in Rio’s Zona Norte earlier this month.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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