Brazilian security forces conducted a series of anti-crime operations in the Rio de Janeiro favelas of Complexo do Lins, Pavão-Pavãozinho, Cantagalo, Babilônia, and Chapéu Mangueira on Wednesday, July 11. An estimated 3700 military personnel, 200 military police officers, and 70 civilian police officers were involved in the operations. According to local sources, security forces established checkpoints at several key locations. Similar operations targeting criminal activity in Rio favelas are possible in the near-term; a heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be anticipated in affected areas.
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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