Brazilian police accidentally shoot Spanish tourist dead in Rio favela

Victim was travelling with two other Spaniards, an Italian and a guide

Lydia Smith
Monday 23 October 2017 19:12
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Youths watch a protest against police violence in the Rocinha favela, Rio de Janeiro
Youths watch a protest against police violence in the Rocinha favela, Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian police accidentally shot dead a Spanish tourist in a Rio de Janeiro favela after the car she was in failed to stop at a police roadblock.

The woman has been named by local media as 67-year-old Maria Esperanza Ruiz Jimenez.

She is reported to have been travelling with two other Spaniards, an Italian and a guide.

Police said in a statement the victim’s car had “broke through a police blockade” in the Rocinha favela and officers opened fire, unaware there were tourists inside.

“During a check, the vehicle was found to be for the transport of tourists. One Spanish woman who was wounded was taken to the Miguel Couto hospital but died of her wounds,” the statement said, AFP reported.

The incident took place an hour after police clashed with drug gang members in the favela, in which two officers were hospitalised with wounds along with a suspected gang member.

Last month, the military was sent to the sprawling favela in an attempt to control violence between rival drug gangs.

Around a quarter of Rio’s 6.5 million people live in favelas, where drug and gang-related violence is common.

The latest victim is the third tourist to have been shot dead in Rio favelas in less than a year.

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