Rio de Janeiro Launches Attack On Organized Crime Ring

( – The state government in Rio de Janeiro deployed hundreds of police to three of the city’s poorer neighborhoods early last Monday to clamp down on organized crime groups that control large segments of the areas, the Associated Press reported.

Rio’s security forces targeted the Mare complex of favelas near the city’s international airport, as well as the adjacent neighborhood of Vila Cruzeiro and the City of God neighborhood on the opposite side of the city. All three areas are controlled by the drug trafficking group Red Command.

In a post on X, the state government said recent intelligence indicated that the crime bosses from Mare had migrated to the other two neighborhoods. In total, one thousand police officers participated in last Monday’s raid.

According to Fogo Cruzado, a nonprofit group that compiles real-time reporting of gun violence in the city, residents of the three neighborhoods reported hearing shootouts shortly after dawn on October 9. Local media outlet G1 reported two police helicopters were forced down after taking gunfire.

After the raids, the government shared video footage showing the material seized, including nearly 100 kilos of cocaine paste. According to the state government, more than half a ton of synthetic drugs and marijuana were also seized in Monday’s raids.

By midday on Monday, police had arrested nine individuals and located two drug labs.

On October 6, Claudio Castro, the governor of Rio, discussed plans that were underway to fight back against the organized crime groups that control large areas of the city. He described the groups as “bloody, violent,” and well-armed “criminals” and vowed to use “the strong hand of the state” against them.

Just one day earlier, gunmen executed three doctors in a gangland-style hit at a beachside restaurant in Rio in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity. According to reports, the attackers confused one of the doctors for the son of a militia leader.

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