By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The security forces operation in Rio de Janeiro in eight favela communities on Monday morning led to the arrest of 43 people, seizure of eleven weapons and large amount of drugs was deemed a success by authorities, but residents complained and more than 21,000 children were left without school in those regions.
“I did not even leave the house. I have not been working for the past ten days. I have a store and I can not open it,” a resident of the Jacarezinho community was quoted as saying by government a news agency.
“The police do not want to know who is a resident, who is a child, who is a worker, who is a bad guy. They come into our house without a warrant. But who are we to tell them they can’t (enter)?”, concluded the merchant.
Other residents complained that security forces were prohibiting them from walking around, ordering those within the affected communities to remain at home.
Defense Minister Raul Jungmann, however, said the results of the operation were satisfactory, with no shots fired and no casualties reported. “That’s what we want. To hit organized crime, reducing its operational capacity, and in pursuit of that, we are willing to go until the last day of 2018 and we will not retreat a millimeter from that determination,” Minister Jungmann told reporters during the day.
As part of the operation, actions were taken in the communities of Jacarezinho, Manguinhos, Mandela, Bandeira 2, Alemão Complex, Parque Arará, Mangueira and in the Morar Carioca co-op, all located in the Northern zone of Rio.
As a result of the operation, however, area schools were closed and more than 21,000 stayed home on Monday. The school situation is especially critical in the Jacarezinho area, where schools have been closed since August 11th, due to police operations.
On Monday Rio’s Municipal Education Secretary, Cesar Benjamin, said the schools in Jacarezinho would remain closed for ‘indeterminate’ period of time.
According to officials more than 7,000 security forces were at hand for the operation, using helicopters and dozens of vehicles including three armored trucks.