World

Police finish replacing Brazilian soldiers on security duty in big slum in Rio de Janeiro

  • A man detained as a suspected drug trafficker is placed in a paddy wagon during a police operation at the Mare slum complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 30, 2015.  The last soldiers and marines occupying the Mare complex of slums will be replaced by police as part of the program to "pacify" and reduce violence in the favela. The process started in April with a June 30 deadline for the army to vacate the neighborhood. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    A man detained as a suspected drug trafficker is placed in a paddy wagon during a police operation at the Mare slum complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. The last soldiers and marines occupying the Mare complex of slums will be replaced by police as part of the program to "pacify" and reduce violence in the favela. The process started in April with a June 30 deadline for the army to vacate the neighborhood. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • Brazilian Army soldiers stand guard next to an armored vehicle at the Mare slum complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. The last soldiers and marines occupying the Mare complex of slums will be replaced by police as part of the program to "pacify" and reduce violence in the favela. The process started in April with a June 30 deadline for the army to vacate the neighborhood. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    Brazilian Army soldiers stand guard next to an armored vehicle at the Mare slum complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. The last soldiers and marines occupying the Mare complex of slums will be replaced by police as part of the program to "pacify" and reduce violence in the favela. The process started in April with a June 30 deadline for the army to vacate the neighborhood. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • Brazilian Army soldiers walk on a pile of sandbags during the dismantling of one of their bases in the Mare slum complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. The last soldiers and marines occupying the Mare complex of slums will be replaced by police as part of the program to "pacify" and reduce violence in the favela. The process started in April with a June 30 deadline for the army to vacate the neighborhood. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    Brazilian Army soldiers walk on a pile of sandbags during the dismantling of one of their bases in the Mare slum complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. The last soldiers and marines occupying the Mare complex of slums will be replaced by police as part of the program to "pacify" and reduce violence in the favela. The process started in April with a June 30 deadline for the army to vacate the neighborhood. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

Police in Rio de Janeiro have finished replacing more than 2,000 soldiers who have been stationed in the Mare complex of shantytowns to improve security and drive out the drug gangs that ruled the slum for decades.

The replacement process started in April and the last troops withdrew Wednesday from the nearly 4 square miles (10 square kilometers) covered by shanties of Mare. About 130,000 people live there.

Soldiers moved into Mare a little over a year ago as part of the "police pacification program" that began in 2008 to secure Rio before last year's World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Shootouts have dropped since the pacification program began. But many residents complain of heavy-handed police tactics.