São Paulo watches for spillover from Rio violence

What's New — By jmiller on December 2, 2010 at 2:11 am

Above the fracas (image credit: Josh Miller)

A week after military tanks rolled into the cidade maravilhosa, São Paulo police officers apprehended a man they say could be a drug trafficker from Rio de Janeiro, Jornal da Band reported.

The 23-year-old man was arrested after allegedly assaulting a taxi driver upon his arrival at Tiete bus terminal. He told law enforcement officials he was from Rio’s Penha neighborhood, where police and military personnel occupied the Vila Cruzeiro favela last Friday. Officials in São Paulo still have not confirmed whether the suspect is a fugitive from the raids on Rio slums.

Rio became the focus of international news reports a week ago, when the state government’s efforts to “pacify” the favelas spilled onto the city’s streets. In retaliation for heightened police activity on their turf, members of the Red Command crime syndicate burned 96 vehicles and engaged in shootouts with police from Nov. 21-26. As a result, Governor Sergio Cabral and President Lula mobilized 21,000 police officers and 800 marines to take control of certain slums.

The upheaval has continued this week, as the government directed its focus on the Complexo de Alemão favela.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJOQ-U06c4k&feature=related[/youtube]

Video: “Tropa de Elite 3,” a shootout breaks out in Complexo de Alemão

Meanwhile, the border patrols of surrounding states, including São Paulo, have been on alert for men and women wanted in connection with the Rio violence. Thus far, São Paulo has remained relatively unscathed by the fighting in its neighbor to the north.

Tags: Cabral, Complexo de Alemao, Cruzeiro, Elite Squad, Favela, Ipanema, Lula, queimados, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Rocinha, Sampa, São Paulo, slums, SP, Tropa de Elite, UPP, veiculos