Brazil police occupy Rio favela in World Cup operation

Residents look out from a shop entrance as Brazilian marines pass in an armoured vehicle, Mangueira, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (19 June 2011)
Image caption,
Most of Mangueira's residents were said to have co-operated with the operation

Brazilian security forces have occupied one of Rio de Janeiro's biggest slums as part of a major crackdown ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Some 800 police and special forces moved into the Mangueira shantytown, without needing to fire a shot, having announced the raid in advance.

The slum - or favela - is close to Rio's famous Maracana stadium, where the World Cup final will be played.

The pre-dawn operation involved armoured vehicles and helicopters.

According to the newspaper, O Globo, leaflets were thrown out of the helicopters, some with photos of wanted criminals.

Others were printed with the police special forces' telephone number so that residents could pass on information about drugs traffickers or weapons.

BBC Brazil correspondent Paulo Cabral says most of Mangueira's residents co-operated with the operation, as they want to rid the area of drug dealers.

He says that Rio's authorities are making an effort to gain the trust of those living in the slums, who - after decades of abuse - have got used to seeing the police as their enemy.

Mangueira - home to one of Rio's most famous samba schools - is the 18th favela that the authorities have occupied recently.

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