RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil's defense minister said Thursday that the military will take an increasingly aggressive role in fighting drug trafficking in Rio de Janeiro.
Defense Minister Raul Jungmann said at a news conference that troops will not just patrol, man checkpoints and help recover caches of automatic weapons. He said they will now be used in police operations against drug traffickers.
Rio, which hosted in the 2016 Summer Olympics, has been plagued with increasing violence in the last year. That is particularly the case in hundreds of slums that are often controlled by drug gangs.
Jungmann said 800 slums in Rio are controlled by traffickers, a rare acknowledgement by authorities about a loss of control.
He did not provide details on plans for deployments of troops.