Brazil: The Masses of the Favela resist Attacks

It was reported that between the night of June 22nd and the morning of June 23rd inhabitants of the Três Pontes favela, in the western Rio de Janeiro, revolted after the killing of a worker during an operation by the Civil Police. The murdered Guilherme Morais (22) was delivering food when the operation began. The cops relied on armored vehicles, helicopters and troops from the Civil and Military Police. Operations were also recorded in the Antares and Aço favelas, also in the west of Rio. The masses withstood the attacks, confronted the police and the troops finally left the neighborhood with the people shouting slogans.

The operation began with rifle fire, an invasion of armored vehicles and helicopter flights around 9:00 pm on Thursday, when the streets of the favela were still crowded with residents, including children. The justification for the attack by the reactionary armed forces was the attempt to arrest supposed militia leaders who supposedly were hiding in the area. But no arrest were made. One worker complained to the press: “It was terrifying, really maddening. The helicopters, the shots. My children started crying and we could do nothing at that time.”

The residents revolted just moments after the murderous shots were fired, denouncing the killing, while pointing to the police. The wounded Guilherme was driven to the Municipal Hospital in Santa Cruz, but he did not survived. During the raid a large crowd of inhabitants rejected the police entering into the favela. Several residents were injured by the shots fired and were taken to the same hospital, where they were treated and they are stable. However, medical care was jeopardized during the police operation: a medical team sent to the favela for first aid had to take shelter in the residents’ homes and covered until the end of the operation to reduce the risk of being targeted.

The police was finally expelled from the favela by the people, a scene that has become increasingly frequent in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. The police retreated angrily, because they were not capable of dispersing the masses even with the trail of stun grenades and tear gas they left behind. The people stood steadfast without shaking or hesitating, denouncing the murderers. Operations carried out by the Brazilian police against the favelas and other poor areas of the city, harassment, torture and murders are usual, day in and day out, and absolutely nothing has changed regarding this with the new old head Lula.

Previous post Weekly Editorial – Getting ready for the new struggles
Next post Brazil: Set Luzivaldo free!