SAO PAULO – Thousands of troops and police are entering a complex of favelas in Rio de Janeiro in one of the largest operations since the military took control of security in the Brazilian city last month.
Rio is experiencing a wave of violence as drug gangs fight for control of swaths of the city. Militias, armed groups of current and former police officers, are also vying for influence. The battles result in frequent shootouts in marginalized areas and have occasionally spilled into the wealthier areas along the city's famous beachfront.
On Tuesday, 3,400 soldiers and 500 police entered the Lins Complex. They are creating a perimeter around the area to prevent suspects from fleeing and clearing the streets of obstructions placed by gangs. A major highway that passes through Lins is shut.