The Brazilian army conducted operations in the Rio de Janeiro favelas of Babilônia and Chapéu Mangueira on Thursday, June 21. Nearly 2000 security force personnel were involved. According to the government, the operations were carried out following several days of armed clashes between rival gangs competing for control of the area. The two favelas are located in close proximity to the residential neighborhoods of Leme and Urca, as well as the Zona Sul beach.
On a similar note, clashes between security forces and suspected gang members occurred in the Zona Norte area of the city on June 20 during an operation carried out in the Complexo da Maré favela. Seven people were killed, including at least one civilian. His death led to violent protests later that evening in the favela.
Crime rates in Rio de Janeiro state have reached an all-time high in 2018, according to data released by the ISP (Instituto de Segurança Pública) in April. Rio de Janeiro has been suffering from rising violence since 2016. This phenomenon is largely attributed to fighting between heavily armed security forces and criminal gangs in the favelas. Federal forces have been in command of security in the state of Rio de Janeiro since February, and are expected to remain in control until at least the end of 2018.
Due to high crime rates in Rio de Janeiro - and throughout Brazil more generally - individuals should remain vigilant at all times, report any suspicious behavior to relevant authorities, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. Conceal conspicuous signs of wealth to avoid attracting the attention of would-be thieves. Note that criminals are often armed (never offer resistance in the event of a mugging).
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