Latin America & Caribbean

Rio police shoot dead Spanish tourist on favela tour

Soldiers of the Brazilian Army patrol a street of the favela Rocinha, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 10 October 2017. Image copyright EPA
Image caption The army was sent in to Rocinha last month as shoot-outs spiked

Police in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro say they have shot dead a 67-year-old Spanish tourist.

The woman, María Esperanza Jiménez Ruiz, was on a tour of the Rocinha favela when the car she was travelling in broke through a police blockade, officials said.

The officer who fired the shot has been detained, police said.

Rocinha has been the site of frequent shoot-outs in recent weeks between rival drug gangs.

Ms Jiménez was in a car with her brother, his wife and an Italian tour guide when their vehicle was shot at, Spanish daily El País reported.

A statement by the military police said that "around 10:30 [12:30GMT] a Fiat Freemont vehicle broke through the police blockade in Largo do Boiadeiro [square]".

The police opened fire but stopped when they realised the car was carrying tourists, the statement adds. An investigation is under way.

Brazilian security forces have been accused of using excessive force by human rights groups.

Security forces say they can come under fire from drug gangs in the narrow slum streets and often have little time to assess the situation.

Two military police officers were injured earlier on Monday in a shoot-out in Rocinha, Brazilian media report.

In September, soldiers were sent into Rocinha to quell the most recent outbreak of violence but the shootings have continued.

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