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    Mar 31, 2014

    Brazilian Security Forces Enter Rio Slum District In Armoured Vehicles In Effort To Neutralise Gangs

    The operation is part of plans to try and make the city more secure before the World Cup.

    Over 1,400 Brazilian marines and police officers entered a huge complex of slums in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

    AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

    The armed operation is the latest security push by authorities in Brazil ahead of the World Cup this summer.

    AP Photo/Leo Correa

    More than 130,000 people are believed to live in the Complexo do Mare, which consists of 15 slums and has been ruled by drug trafficking gangs for years.

    Sergio Moraes / Reuters

    Brazilian officials are keen to prevent violence in Rio’s favelas disrupting the World Cup, which starts on June 12.

    Sergio Moraes / Reuters

    At the weekend, armed officers and soldiers began patrolling the 5-square-kilometre complex.

    Sergio Moraes / Reuters

    The plan is to set up permanent posts in Mare as part of a “pacification” programme, which started in 2008 and officials hope will make Rio more secure before the World Cup this year and the Olympics in 2016.

    AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

    Complexo da Mare is near Rio’s international airport, meaning visitors will pass near the slums on their way into the city centre.

    Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

    The latest operation comes in what is reported to be a "critical" time for the security effort.

    Sergio Moraes / Reuters

    Gangs have attacked police outposts in other shantytowns in recent months.

    Sergio Moraes / Reuters

    The gang leaders are hoping to disrupt the police operations.

    Sergio Moraes / Reuters

    So far the pacification has seen some success, with the amount of violence in the slums said to be down.

    Sergio Moraes / Reuters

    However, there have been complaints of heavy-handed tactics by the authorities.

    AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

    Over 20 officers who patrolled Rio's largest slum Rocinha are now facing charges for the torture, disappearance, and presumed death of a slum resident they were questioning.

    AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

    There have also been complaints the authorities are not following up the police posts in the slums with social programmes to help improve the lives of the residents.

    AP Photo/Felipe Dana

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