Security forces were engaged in a shootout around the Tanque BRT station in Jacarepaguá, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, on the morning of Wednesday, November 7 (local time). Adjacent roads have been closed to traffic. Authorities did not immediately report the number of arrests or casualties in the operation. A heightened security presence and lingering traffic disruptions are to be expected in the area over the coming hours.
Crime rates in Rio de Janeiro state, rising steadily since 2016, reached all-time highs in 2017, and again in 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 2018 and are expected to remain in control until at least the end of the year. According to one study, violent deaths have increased by 80 percent since the beginning of the military intervention.
Individuals in Jacarepaguá are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid the affected area.
Due to high crime rates in Rio de Janeiro - and throughout Brazil more generally - individuals should also remain vigilant at all times, avoid all favelas, and report any suspicious behavior to relevant authorities. Conceal conspicuous signs of wealth to avoid attracting the attention of would-be thieves. Note that criminals are often armed and never offer resistance in the event of a mugging.
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