No shots fired at São Carlos’ occupation

Monday, February 7, 2022

by Gabriela Moreira

After a two-hour operation, state and federal police forces occupied nine communities in the São Carlos’ Complex, situated between the districts of Santa Teresa, Rio Comprido and Catumbi, at Rio’s north and central zones. Since long controlled by drug trafficking, the territory was regained without a single firearm being shot. The operation, which started before dawn, at 4a.m, set into motion the project of installing a Pacifying Police Unit in the area.

Altogether, nine favelas were occupied: São Carlos, Zinco, Querosene, Mineira, Coroa, Fallet, Fogueteiro, Escondidinho and Prazeres. The process of pacification inside these communities will reach 26 thousand residents directly. But if one takes into consideration the population in the surrounding areas, who will benefit indirectly, this UPP will assit around 520 thousand people, residing in 17 different neighborhoods.

The action was planned based on the occupations that took place last November at the Alemão Complex and at Vila Cruzeiro, in the district of Penha, and was carried out by officers from the Civil and Military polices, as well as Federal agents, the Federal Highway Police and the Navy, which made 17 armor-clad vehicles and 150 marines available. Altogether, around 1,300 men participated in the occupation.

Rio’s Security Secretary, José Mariano Beltrame, who had been following the occupation from the Control Center assembled at the “Choque” Battalion since 5:30a.m, celebrated the peaceful operation and the reclaiming of the communities.

“Our goal is to occupy territories without contributing to the statistics of stray bullets, homicides or injured civilians. Our biggest concern is with the wellbeing of the population. The criminals will be arrested during the investigations that will follow the installation of the UPP,” he said.

The secretary emphasized that the current security policy prioritizes the regaining of territories that were controlled by drug traffickers. According to him, the UPPs – which are now present in 60 of Rio’s favelas – are a definite step towards reestablishing the peace in the state.

“We have to take definite measures. We are not allowed to make mistakes. Today we have a clear goal, a plan, and the population knows where we want to get. The important thing is to give back the peace and the freedom to the residents of these communities,” stated the secretary.

After being searched for armament, drugs and hidden criminals, São Carlos’ Complex will receive three UPPs still in the first semester of 2011: São Carlos, Fallet/Fogueteiro and Prazeres/Escondidinho. Also during 2011, the units at the Alemão Complex and at Vila Cruzeiro, both at Penha, will open their doors. They are currently being guarded by the army. The number of residents assisted directly reaches 410 thousand, and goes over a million if one considers the surrounding neighborhoods.

The future UPPs at São Carlos Complex will count on 600 officers, out of which 30 corporals and sergeants and six officials.