Data released by the Institue of Public Security (ISP) Friday shows that citizen deaths directly related to the military intervention in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro increased by 150 percent in the month of August. It's a 150 percent jump, going from 70 deaths in August 2017 to a whopping 175 deaths last month.
The rate of other forms of violence also increased, by 13 percent, when comparing the months of August 2017 and 2018. This indicator includes murders, robberies followed by death and bodily injury followed by death, a total of 552 victims have been recorded in the state of Rio de Janeiro last month.
Just one day after the ISP released its findings, the Brazilian military began operations in three favela communities in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The targets of the operations are Jacarezinho, Complexo do Alemao, and Complexo da Mare, all located in the northern zone of the city.
A total of 1,850 soldiers are being employed according to military officials, with the mission of investigating allegations of criminal activity, particularly those related to drug-trafficking. Another 50 military police officers are also participating mission.
The Complexo do Alemao was also the scene of a large military and civilian police incursion on June 27, 2007, that left 19 people dead. Shortly after the event, the Order of Attorneys of Brazil released a statement saying that at least 11 of the victims had absolutely no involvement in drug-trafficking activities.
Complexo da Mare is the favela where slain Black activist and Rio de Janeiro councilwoman, Marielle Franco, was raised. Six months have passed since her assassination and her case remains unsolved.
Another resident of Complexo da Mare, Marcos Vinicius da Silva, a 14-year-old student, died in June after being shot in the stomach during military and civil police operation into the Complexo da Mare. The youngster, donned in his community school uniform, was walking to class when the shooting erupted around nine o'clock in the morning local time.
At least six other people were killed during the operation. Local residents described scenes of security forces firing high-powered rifles from helicopters and tanks, known as caveirao or blindados, causing panic throughout the community.