HRW worries about the death of 18 people in a favela in Brazil 

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The Human Right Watch (HRW) organization expressed on Friday (07.22.20222) its concern over the death of 18 people in a police operation carried out on Thursday against organized crime in a favela in Rio de Janeiro.

A 50-year-old woman, a military policeman and “16 criminals” lost their lives, as detailed by the spokesman for the Brazilian Civil Police, Ivan Blaz, in statements collected by the newspaper O Globo.

Thursday’s intervention is one of the deadliest in the Brazilian capital. The deadliest operation in the state of Rio de Janeiro took place in May 2021, in the Jacarezinho favela, where 28 people died, including a civilian police officer, according to ‘Folha De S.Paulo’.

“We are deeply concerned that, once again, Rio de Janeiro has witnessed a police operation with a high number of deaths and serious impacts on communities, this time in Complejo do Alemao,” said HRW Brazil director Maria Laura Canineu.

The organization urged state and federal prosecutors to “immediately carry out a thorough and independent investigation to determine those responsible and the circumstances of the deaths and injuries in accordance with the constitutional mandate to exercise external control over the Police.”

In June 2020, the Brazilian Supreme Court prohibited the Police from carrying out operations in the low-income neighborhoods of Rio, except in “absolutely exceptional cases”, as indicated by the NGO, which pointed to the Brazilian security forces of not having complied “duly with the sentence”.

“The government of the state of Rio de Janeiro must immediately implement an appropriate plan, in consultation with civil society, to stop police killings, as ordered by the Supreme Court,” insisted Canineu.

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“Investigating and holding accountable those responsible for cases of police abuse is key to stopping the cycle of violence that endangers residents and the Police, with disastrous consequences for public safety,” he emphasized.

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