Brazilian protest erupts in violence after police confront drugs gangs

Demonstration in Rio de Janeiro was against police brutality in the favelas

Rose Troup Buchanan
Tuesday 24 February 2015 16:12 GMT

Footage has emerged apparently showing the violent conclusion of a peaceful protest in Brazil.

In the short tape, believed to have been taken shortly after an anti-police demonstration in a notorious slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, officers can be heard firing.

The demonstration yesterday in the Mare favela, notorious for its links with organised drug trafficking, was in protest against police violence.

Approximately 800 residents took to the streets, many carrying banners bearing messages such as 'Enough of genocide against black people and slum', but the end of the march was marred by an ugly confrontation with – police claim – suspected drugs gangs.

Two people were killed and a further three wounded, El Mundo reported, in the clash.

Also in the footage, heavily armed officers can be seen striding alongside protesters walking through the city late at night.

The favela has seen a strong police presence since the World Cup was held in Brazil last summer.

In an attempt to clear up the 253 notorious areas of Rio local authorities launched a so-called pacification programme in 2008 ahead of the 2016 Olympics and World Cup contest last summer.

These actions did not prevent riots in some of the favelas during the World Cup, drawing unfavourable press coverage from the world’s media.

In 2014 an official report claimed that Brazilian officers were killing an average of six people every day, while research by the NGO Brazilian Forum on Public Safety reported that 11, 197 had been killed by officers between 2009 and 2013.

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