After the police operation in a slum in the Brazilian metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, the number of victims has increased further. Brazilian media such as the news portal “G1” and the newspaper “Folha de S. Paulo” reported at least 22 dead on Tuesday (local time). According to the police, twelve of the dead were criminals. In addition, a resident of Vila Cruzeiro was accidentally hit by a bullet and died. The nine other dead were not yet identified. At least five other people were injured.

According to eyewitnesses, there had been violent exchanges of gunfire in the poor district in northern Rio from the early hours of the morning. According to the report, the police wanted to arrest the heads of the crime syndicate Comando Vermelho (Red Commando), who are said to have been hiding there.

Thirteen rifles, four pistols, twelve hand grenades and a large quantity of drugs were seized. “These bad people want to destroy the future of the people of Rio de Janeiro. We will not allow anarchy in our state,” Rio governor Cláudio Castro wrote on Twitter.

About a year ago, police officers killed at least 28 suspected members of drug gangs in the Jacarezinho favela in the bloodiest operation in Rio’s history. Powerful gangs fight for control of drug trafficking and protection money deals in the slums.

Police on Tuesday blamed the Supreme Court for allowing more criminals to come to Rio. “We have noticed this movement from the time of the STF’s decision (to limit police operations in favelas during the Corona pandemic)”, quoted the “Folha de S. Paulo” Coronel Luiz Henrique Marinho.