A government initiative to clean up Rio de Janeiro’s violent slums is under attack just weeks before hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors flock to Brazil for the soccer World Cup.
In the latest clash, police said two officers were injured in shootouts on Thursday in a sprawling collection of slums named Complexo do Alemão, where police have recently stepped up vigilance due to an onslaught of unrest.
The confrontation came days after hundreds of residents in the same slums—or favelas—protested against the shooting of two residents in areas where police have been battling suspected drug traffickers. Smoke filled the air as residents torched three buses and vandalized a local public-health clinic, with residents chanting “killers” at stone-faced police at the scene.
“We are tired. The pressure pot is ready to burst,” said Cleber Araujo, a 38-year-old resident of Complexo do Alemão. “There is only death in the favela.”