‘Signs of a massacre’: Bodies found after Brazil police gun fight

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At least eight bodies, some with torture marks, were found on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro after a police operation.

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At least eight bodies, some with torture marks, have been found after an encounter with police in a mangrove swamp outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Rio de Janeiro state police said officers were investigating the horrific scene with forensic experts in the impoverished Favela neighborhood of Salgueiro, about 35 kilometers (20 miles) northeast of the beach town.

Residents who declined to be named told Brazilian media outlets they expected more bodies to come after “intense” gun battles in the community.

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“All the bodies were dumped in the mangrove swamp. There were marks of torture on them, people tossed them one after the other. It has all the signs of genocide,” a witness told Brazil’s Globo TV on Monday.

One of Brazil’s most popular networks, the station showed rolling images of unidentified bodies wrapped in white sheets on the edge of the swamp.

The clashes first broke out in the area on Saturday when a police constable on patrol was killed in an attack, police said. Rio’s Police Special Operations Battalion, or BOPE, began the raid on Sunday.

Rights groups regularly accuse the elite of indiscriminate murder and excessive violence in their harsh campaigns against drug gangs.

“The BOPE launched an operation in Salgueiro on Sunday after receiving information that one person involved in Saturday’s attack was injured and was hiding in the area,” police said.

“The team came under attack near a mangrove swamp, leading to an intense confrontation.”

Rio’s military police did not respond to allegations of torture by officials or locals’ involvement in multiple killings.

“So far eight bodies have been found,” police said in a statement.

Police said they entered the area to “stabilize” it after violence from alleged drug gangs.

Police said they seized two pistols, ammunition, over 800 cannabis bricks and over 3,000 packets of crack cocaine-like substance in the raid.

Rights group Fogo Cruzado said the killings in Salgueiro were one of at least 58 shootings in Rio state with three or more victims so far this year.

Of these, 43 were during the police operation.

In May, 28 people were killed in a bloody raid targeting accused drug traffickers in Jacarzinho’s favela. Rights groups accused the police of carrying out “brief executions” during that operation.


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