- Complexo do Alemão
An article published by O Globo in 2007  revealed the origin of Complexo do Alemão. After World War I, a Pole named Leonard Kaczmarkiewicz bought the land. It was not long before the place became known as Morro do Alemão (German's Hill) due to Kaczmarkiewicz's physical looks. The rural area began to change its appearance in the late 1920s, when the leather factory Curtume Carioca was founded. It attracted hundreds of workers to the region. When Avenida Brasil was inaugurated in 1946, the region started to progress and soon became the city's main industrial pole. However, the illegal occupation began in 1951, when Kaczmarkiewicz divided his land in plots and eventually sold them. The occupied places evolved into favelas during the military dictatorship. The number of occupations peaked towards the end of the dictatorship.
- Area: 296.09 ha (2.96 km2) (2003)
- Population: 65,026 (2000)
- Homes: 18,245 (2000)
On June 27, 2007, just a few days before the Live Earth concert in Copacabana and the opening ceremony of the XV Pan American Games, Complexo do Alemão was the stage of a huge operation led by the Military Police against the gangs formed by drug dealers. Official numbers state that the police killed almost twenty people in the region. State attacks against Favelas happened countless other times. Until the end of the Pan-American Games, Complexo do Alemão was under siege. On its website, the United Socialist Workers' Party (PSTU) criticized the operation, saying its purpose was to suppress the dealers of the Complexo do Alemão favelas only during the Pan-American Games since Brazil's international image could have been hurt if anything had happened during the Games . The United Nations Children's Fund also criticized the operation, which injured four under aged and left thousands others without access to school..
On November 25, 2010, the Special Ops Batallion (BOPE) together with the Brazilian Navy, invaded the Vila Cruzeiro favela, in Rio de janeiro, in order to set up an UPP (Portuguese: Unidade de Policia pacificadora, English: Pacifying Police Unit) in this favela. During this operation 31 people were killed, but the majority of the drug dealers fled to the neighboring Complexo do Alemão. The next day, in retaliation, the drug dealers ordered dozens of cars to be burned around the city. Due to this event, the Secretary of Security José Mariano Beltrame, backed by Rio's Governor, authorized the military to send an ultimatum to the criminals hidden in the Complexo do Alemão, either to surrender and put down their weapons, or face an invasion of the combined forces of the BOPE, the Brazilian Army, and the Brazilian Navy, which could escalate the violence and bring casualties. The criminals refused to surrender and radioed threats to the military. Two days later, 3000 men invaded the Complexo do Alemão with rifles, battle tanks, and armored cars. Despite the criminals' threats, the military force met with little resistance and took over the area within a few hours. After the invasion, an initial search was conducted, and tons of drugs (cocaine and marijuana) were found, as well as weapons, stolen cars, and motorcycles.
As of November 30, 2010, the operation is ongoing and the main objective is to find the remaining criminals that may be in hiding.
- ^ (Portuguese) Complexo do Alemão, a faixa de Gaza carioca - O Globo Online
- ^ http://gondolaproject.com/2010/10/13/the-complexo-do-alemao-teleferico/
- ^ http://gondolaproject.com/2011/01/21/new-images-of-rios-teleferico-do-alemao/
- ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-14055490
- ^ PSTU | O Haiti é aqui, no Complexo do Alemão | Nacional
- ^ (Portuguese) http://ultimosegundo.ig.com.br/brasil/2007/06/29/unicef_critica_operacao_da_policia_no_complexo_do_alemao_904135.html
- November 2010 Gang Violence in Rio - slideshow by Life magazine
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