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News > Latin America

Brazil Police Accused of Killing 7 During Raid on Favela Party

  • Police patrol a working-class neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro.

    Police patrol a working-class neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 November 2017

Brazil has the highest number of homicides in the world, with the majority of victims being young Black men.

Seven civilians were allegedly shot dead by hooded police officers in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro on Saturday at dawn, according to statements given by relatives to Brazilian media.

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The victims were at a baile funk party in Sao Goncalo when officers with the Coordination of Special Resources (Core), part of the Civilian Police, invaded and started shooting into the crowd, the families allege.

The police officers, who were not wearing uniforms, arrived in two armored vehicles bearing the Core logo.

Rio de Janeiro police officials have already confirmed the seven killings, but have yet to confirm whether a police raid had been ordered in the neighborhood.

The investigation was further complicated when the bodies were sent to forensics before evidence had been collected at the crime scene, in contrast to what procedure dictates.

The murders was committed one day after a police officer was killed in the same area: Marinho, one of Sao Goncalo's favelas.

Earlier this week, about 3,500 officers of the Marine Forces and Militarized Police carried out raids across Sao Goncalo in a bid to crack down on drug traffickers operating in the favelas.

Brazil has one of the highest number of homicides worldwide, with 61,619 murders in 2016.

10% of World Homicides Are in Brazil, Most Are Young and Black

According to a report released last month by the Brazilian Public Safety Forum, the number of civilians killed in police raids also increased to 4,224: a 25.8 percent increase from 2015. Of those, 99.3 percent were men, 81.8 percent were between 12 and 29 years old, and 76.2 percent were Black.

In Rio de Janeiro alone, police were responsible for 8,471 homicides between 2005 and 2014. At a national level, police were responsible for more than 11,197 homicides between 2009 and 2013.

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