In a quick and decisive military sweep, Brazilian security forces seized control of this city's most notorious slum on Sunday, claiming victory in a weeklong battle against drug gangs that has claimed dozens of lives.
By early afternoon the military police had raised the flags of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro atop a building on the highest hill in the Alemão shantytown complex, providing a rare moment of catharsis and celebration in a decades-long battle to rid this city's violent slums of drug gangs, New York Times reports.
In the operation, the police seized 40 tons of marijuana, 150 kilograms of cocaine, 50 rifles, and 50 stolen motorbikes.
The officers also raided some sumptuous houses of the drug lords, which were in a sharp contrast to the surrounding poverty, as the Alemao Complex has one of the worst social indicators in Rio.
The operation was launched after police managed on Thursday to occupy nearby shantytown Vila Cruzeiro. The police assured residents that they will not leave the shantytowns after the operations, and plan to remain there to ensure security, Xinhua informs.