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30 Murdered by Rio 'Death Squad', Public Outcry Limited

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Section: International News Geography: Latin America Brazil Topics: police

April 8, 2005

30 Murdered by Rio 'Death Squad', Public Outcry Limited

by Sandy Hager

According to the UK's Guardian newspaper, the March 31st massacre of 30 people by a "band of rogue policemen" in Rio's working class Baixada district has not created "much of a stir" in the Brazilian metropolis.

The same report suggests that the pope's death has "eclipsed" all other news stories in this predominately Catholic country, but that complacency also stems from the fact that people are accustomed to hearing bad news come out of poorer areas such as Baixada.

Claudia Guerro of Rio's Public Safety Department suspects that the massacre was a retaliation by police against the arrest of eight other police officers connected to the murder of two people at a Rio police station.

Guerro claimed that the police officers involved in the massacre were "unhappy with our investigations into crimes committed by police officers and with our efforts to weed out corrupt and bad policemen."

While the public outcry against this incident has been limited, Bloomberg News Service reports that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is sending 600 "police reinforcements" to Rio in order to battle corruption and organized crime in the city.

The Guardian: Massacre in Rio Getting Little Attention

Scotsman: Brazil Massacre Implicates Police Death Squads

Bloomberg: Brazil's Lula Sends Police to Rio After Death Squads Kill 30

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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