Rio slum is ‘pacified’ in advance of games

Simon Romero – The New York Times, 11/13/2011

The military operation did little to disturb life in the slum, where authorities did not fire a single shot. Photo credit: Mauricio Lima/The New York Times

About 3,000 police officers and soldiers moved into one of the largest slums here on Sunday in a pivotal effort by the government to assert control over lawless areas of the city ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

In an operation that began before dawn, military helicopters buzzed the sky, and tanks rolled through the narrow streets of the Rocinha slum. Elite police squads patrolled the alleys, and snipers perched on rooftops.

The authorities said the occupation was an effort at the “pacification” of the sprawling slum, or favela, and it was carried out peacefully. By early Sunday evening, the police, accompanied by contingents from the Brazilian Army and Navy, had not fired a shot.

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