“There were no innocent people killed”

Can you imagine a police chief in the US making a statement like that?

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) — Police killed at least 13 suspected drug traffickers in a huge operation Wednesday aimed at ending a war between authorities and gangs that has raged for nearly two months in a Rio de Janeiro slum.
Authorities said 1,350 heavily armed officers and elite federal police supported by helicopters and armored cars descended on the sprawling Alemao shantytown and were met by automatic weapon fire and hand grenades.
At least 40 people have been killed and more than 80 injured since May 2, when the conflict in the Alemao was touched off by the killing of two police officers.
At least 10 people were wounded in Wednesday’s operation, most of them innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire or hit by stray bullets — a rising concern in this city of 8 million.
Rio de Janeiro state security chief Jose Mariano Beltrame earlier said 18 were killed Wednesday, then revised the death toll to 13 without giving an explanation. The dead were all suspected members of gangs that control the city’s thriving drug trade, he said.
“There were no innocent people killed,” Beltrame told a news conference, adding that the operation would continue indefinitely. Authorities said Wednesday’s death toll could rise because police believed some bodies had not been recovered.
Beltrame said police entered areas of the slum where they have had no presence for years, resulting in intense fighting.

The slums in Rio are notorious for their drug activities and vigilante violence.
Sadly, so are the Brazilian police forces. As a dear friend of mine says, if you are robbed in Brazil you generally don’t call the police because they’ll just rob you again.

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