News / Americas

Brazilian Police Take Control of Rio's Largest Slum

Brazilian navy armored vehicles move into Rocinha shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nov. 13, 2011.
Brazilian navy armored vehicles move into Rocinha shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nov. 13, 2011.

Brazilian authorities say police have taken control of the largest slum in Rio de Janeiro, which has been occupied by drug traffickers for decades.  

Hundreds of police invaded the notorious Rocinha as well as the nearby Vidigal "favela" (slum) early Sunday.

The operation went off without any incidents or shots fired. Authorities had announced their planned takeover earlier in the week.

Rocinha, a sprawling hillside community of about 100,000 people, lies near some of Rio's richest neighborhoods. Its central location has made it one of the city's main drug distribution points.

Security forces have occupied 19 slums over the past three years as part of a police campaign to stabilize Rio's security before its hosts the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

Brazilian officials say more than 1.5 million people in Rio de Janeiro live in 1,000 slums spread across the city.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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