Brazilian security forces conducted anti-crime operations in the Rio de Janeiro Complexo do Alemao favelas on Monday, July 16. Approximately 4300 soldiers were involved in the operation, during which six arrests were carried out, barricades were dismantled, and drugs and weaponry seized. According to a military spokesperson, no civilians were injured. Similar operations targeting criminal activity in Rio favelas are likely in the near-term.
Crime rates in Rio de Janeiro state, rising steadily since 2016, have reached all-time highs in 2017 and 2018. A total of 6732 homicides were reported statewide in 2017. The violence is largely attributed to fighting between heavily armed security forces and criminal gangs in 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. According to one study, violent deaths have increased by 80 percent since the beginning of the military intervention.
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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