Rio de Janeiro is brewing … Expelled drug gangs declare war in World Cup cities
On the eve of the World Cup in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is increasingly changing into a state of war. The metropolis, which will be in the global spotlights and attract millions of visitors, becomes more and more the scene of a
fierce battle between ousted drug gangs and the military police.
Police stations in the pacified favelas are put on fire and officers of the UPP peacekeeping police killed.
The death toll has risen to 19 since the beginning of this year.
This ‘declaration of war’ to the address of the local authorities not only evokes strong countermeasures, but also puls a blanket of threat and fear over the city, overshadowing the big party where this football-loving country looked out for for so long.
FIFA organizer requires strict security after threats by one of the largest organized drug cartels Red Commandos “that the World Cup could well be the World Cup of Terror”.
During the violent military invasion in November 2010 druglords of major gangs in the favelas were dethroned and expelled with their drugs and weapons. Since then Mayor Paes performs a drastic pacification policy in Rio, where dozens of notorious slums are occupied by a controlling peace police. But according to the people the poorly paid and corrupt UPP increasingly emerged slowly into a power that takes over the drugtrafficing and terrorizing the people with oppressive security measures. “It doesn’t make life different in our neighborhood whether you are occupied by the Red or by the Blue…” (UPP), concludes one of the inhabitants.
There is a tendency that the biggest drug cartels in a joint declaration of war unite in their struggle against the rulers in Rio and São Paulo. The “Red Commando” (Commando Vermelho) entered into close contact with “The First Urban Commando” (PPC) from São Paulo. The PPC is well organized and has branches in several major cities in the country. PPC drug lord Marcola recently declared war on the state of São Paulo.
Inside Rio is striking that the boss of the cartel “Third Pure Commando” (Terceiro Commando Puro) in Complexo Mare, the slum complex which was invaded last week with army tanks and supremacy of military police, made a deal with the drug lords of Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio, for the joint purchasing of drugs and weapons.
Mare boss Menor P. would pay monthly BR$ 500,000 in bribes paid to corrupt police.
Rio de Janeiro is brewing .. both among the frustrated imprisoned drug lords who step up their fight from their prison cells and new favela complexes outside the city and reconquer their criminal trade. As well as among the average Carioca (residents of the city), where frustration and anxiety increases escalation. For years, the Carioca already burdened by an ” incompetent and corrupt politics ” and must dismay regarding how billions of Reais be wasted on expensive World Cup stadiums and luxury FIFA facilities, rather than to their ailing social services and impoverished system of education, public transport and infrastructure.
Again the streets of Rio and other Brazilian cities will be the scenery of large demonstrations filled with popular anger, only this time it will be the camera lenses of the international media which will zoom in on the other side of the World Cup medal and focus at the actual price paid for a FIFA party.
Rio is brewing … in the passion for football and the temperament in their game, as easy as this temperament, loaded with years of anger and frustration, can turn into public fury in the streets.
Ernst Daniel Nijboer – foreign correspondent
Rio de Janeiro