Rio Police Officer Shot Dead in ‘Pacified’ Favela

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An officer from one of the elite police units sent to occupy Rio de Janeiro favelas has died after his patrol was ambushed in the Complexo do Alemao area of the city, according to reports.

Military police officer Fabio Barbosa was patrolling with six other officers in Morro da Fazendinha favela when they were ambushed by criminals in the early hours of December 5, reported UOL. He received bullet wounds in the leg and head, and died in hospital the following day.

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Complexo do Alemao was occupied by security forces in November 2010. The army withdrew in July this year, and The “Pacifying Police Units,” known as UPPs were installed shortly afterwards.

The security situation in Alemao has been deteriorating in recent weeks. Last week, before the shooting took place, O Dia reported that it had been handed a note by UPP agents in the area, which said that armed traffickers were returning to patrol the streets, and that “the trafficking continues the same, it does not allow us to work.”

O Dia reported that the climate has been particularly tense in Alemao since a 23-year-old man died in a confrontation with UPP police in Nova Brasilia favela, on November 27, nting that a military police patrol car and a UPP base were shot at in the early hours of the following day. The newspaper suggests that the shooting of the officer might be revenge for that incident. In addition, an 18 year old was shot dead inside his house in the Fazendinha favela in Alemao on November 26, and a military police officer was arrested in connection with the case.

This is the second time a UPP officer has been killed while serving since the first unit was installed in 2008, and both deadly attacks took place in the Complexo do Alemao. Fabiana Aparecida de Souza was shot dead in Nova Brasilia in June this year when gunmen launched an attack on a police base.

Troops from elite special-operations unit BOPE have been sent to reinforce Alemao.

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