By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Approximately 4,000 soldiers from the Armed Forces and the Civil and Military Police are being used in an operation today in favela communities in the north and south of Rio de Janeiro, according to a government news agency. This is a continuation of the military operations in these areas over the last month.
A statement released by the Joint Command, which includes the Army, Navy and Air Force, reports that the military are in the communities of the Complexo do Lins in the Zona Norte (North Zone), and in the communities of Pavão-Pavãozinho, Cantagalo, Babilônia and Chapéu Mangueira, in the Zona Sul (South Zone).
Also according to the Joint Command, the operation is one of the measures implemented by the federal intervention in the security of Rio, initiated in February of this year, and involves actions of encirclements, patrolling, barricade removal, as well as vehicle and personal identification checkpoints.
The operation includes 3,700 military personnel, 200 military police and ninety civil police officers, who are supported by armored vehicles, aircraft and engineering equipment. The Grajaú-Jacarepaguá highway is being closed because of the operation, according to the Operations Center of the city of Rio.
Brazil President Michel Temer ordered the military takeover of Rio de Janeiro’s public security sector back on February 16th. At the time, the state was already in the midst of registering unprecedented surges in violence and crime with some categories reaching near thirty-year highs.