- After a fierce gun battle during the police operation, residents found at least seven bodies.
- An eyewitness said that the bodies showed signs of torture and they were thrown together.
- Human rights organizations often accuse elite troops of indiscriminate killing and excessive violence in severe crackdowns on slum drug trafficking gangs.
Authorities said that residents of Brazilian slums found at least seven bodies in a mangrove swamp on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro on Monday, after a “fierce” shootout during a police operation.
Rio de Janeiro State Police said that the police are investigating the terrifying scene near the Salghero slum, about 35 kilometers northeast of the iconic beach city, together with forensic experts.
An eyewitness told Global Television: “The bodies were thrown into the mangrove swamp. They showed signs of torture. People threw one on top of the other. It has all the signs of massacre.”
The network displayed scrolling images of unidentified bodies wrapped in white sheets, claiming that residents had found at least eight bodies in the swamp, which is part of the city of San Goncalo.
State police said that the first clashes broke out in the area on Saturday, when a patrolling police officer was killed in the attack.
The Rio Police Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) subsequently raided the area on Sunday.
Human rights organizations often accuse elite troops of indiscriminate killing and excessive violence in severe crackdowns on slum drug trafficking gangs.
Police said: “BOPE carried out an operation in Salghero on Sunday after receiving news that a person involved in the Saturday attack was injured and hiding in the area.”
“This team was attacked near the mangrove swamp, which led to fierce confrontation.”
The police stated that they seized two pistols, ammunition, more than 800 cannabis bricks and more than 3,000 packets of cocaine-like substances during the raid.
Fogo Cruzado, a human rights organization responsible for monitoring violence in the state, stated that this is the 58th shooting in Rio State so far this year, resulting in three or more victims.
It said that 43 of them were during the police operation.
In May, a bloody raid on suspected drug traffickers in the Jacarezinho slum resulted in 28 deaths, some of whom were reportedly killed in cold blood.
This incident that caused international condemnation was the deadliest police operation in Rio’s history.