Brazil`s army to occupy Rio slums as World Cup nears

IANS| Updated: Mar 25, 2014, 13:53 PM IST

Rio de Janeiro: The Brazilian army will take over the policing of Rio de Janeiro`s Mare slums following a series of attacks on police targets last week.

Two policemen were injured and five police stations were destroyed in the attacks, reportedly ordered by crime lords serving time in prisons in other Brazilian states, reports Xinhua.

The attacks, some three months before the city hosts the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, prompted Rio de Janeiro state Governor Sergio Cabral to request federal help, which was immediately approved.

Cabral didn`t say when the army would take over police operations in Mare, a series of slums spread along Rio`s main highways and near the city`s international airport.

"It is a strategic area for Rio," Cabral said. "A sensitive area with residents anxious to receive the security forces."

According to Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo, who was by Cabral`s side when he made the announcement Monday, the federal forces will remain at the slum as long as officials deem it necessary.

"The occupation will take as long as necessary. Deadlines will be adjusted according to necessity," the minister said.

Cardozo said the occupation of Mare will not interfere with the "very well developed and prepared" security programme set up for the 12 cities hosting World Cup games.