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Amnesty International Warns of 'Blood Bath' in Brazilian Slums - 2004-10-07

The human rights group Amnesty International has warned Brazilian authorities that a long-running conflict between rival drug gangs in Rio de Janeiro could erupt into a "blood bath."

Human rights officials said Thursday that police must take immediate steps to restore order and protect residents in the Vigario Geral and Parada de Lucas slums. Rival drug gangs in the neighborhoods have battled each other for some 20 years.

Amnesty says hundreds of people were forced from their homes in Vigario Geral recently when a gang from Parada de Lucas moved into the area.

The rights group says police are in the surrounding area, but have not tried to regain control of the slums.

Amnesty International has monitored the Vigario Geral slum since the 1993 killing of 21 civilians in a police raid.