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Maré Man Assassinated by Police, Residents Report

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For the original article in Portuguese published in Renajorp click here.

November 23, 2011–According to preliminary testimony from residents of the community, a 22-year-old man was shot this morning in Complexo da Maré. Dozens of residents protesting where the incident occurred have argued that the man had no connection with the actions undertaken by the Civil Police. According to the newspaper O Dia, the man was identified as Altair Bento de Olivera, 46 years old, shot dead in front of his home on Ari Leão Street.

“According to Altair’s brother, Aloysius Oliveira, he was returning home after having taken his wife to the bus top. “My brother was concerned with security. He always kept the gate to the street closed, but he ended up dying in front of his own home,” he cried. Also, according to Aloisio, the sound of a helicopter, followed by fireworks and a gunshot could be heard. Auton Mateus, 56, a retired local resident of the community said that agents from the Special Resources Coordination Office (Coordenadoria de Recursos Especiais–Core) were in a bakery on Maurício de Nassau Street. According to Mr. Mateus, a shot was fired and a man ran to Ari Leão Street as he was chased by the police. The atmosphere in the community was tense and residents protested the killing of Altair, who was unemployed and working on renovating a business located next to his home.

According to police, an operation conducted in the communities of Parque União and Nova Holanda aimed to “carry out 4 police warrants and 6 search and seizures against a gang accused of kidnapping, car theft and robbery on Ilha do Governador and its surroundings.”

The operations carried out by the Special Forces Battalion (BOPE), the paper reports, have been criticized by residents and representatives from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), based on the police misconduct that has occurred. “They opened the door to my neighbour’s house and scavenged through everything. She had two small children and they were terrified,” exclaimed a 32-year-old mechanic. In 2 days, 7 people have been shot. The widely respected coordinator of the Observatório de Favelas (Favela Observatory), Jaílson de Souza, has proposed a suspension of the operation until the Security Bureau clarifies the objectives of these actions. “Many communities complain. It is the right of citizens to know what is happening. The Bureau needs to explain.”

More information to follow at www.renajorp.net.