Rio de Janeiro, May 8 (EFE).- A police raid on a favela in Rio de Janeiro earlier this week left 28 people dead, police confirmed on Saturday.
The dead included a police inspector. The remaining 27 were alleged “criminals,” according to police.
The police claim that the nine-hour-long operation in Jacarezinho favela in the northern part of the capital on Thursday targeted a gang of drug traffickers who recruited minors.
However, it became the deadliest “massacre” by police in the history of Rio de Janeiro, various human rights organizations said.
The police revealed the identity of the 27 suspects on Saturday, the day the victims’ family members buried them at the Inhaúma cemetery in Rio.
On Friday, Brazil’s Attorney General, Augusto Aras, asked Rio governor Claudio Castro and other authorities in the region to “clarify the circumstances” of the raid amid multiple allegations of abuse by police officials.
Judge Luiz Edson Fachin of the country’s Supreme Court even claimed to have seen signs of “arbitrary executions” in the videos he analyzed.
According to residents and videos posted on social media, police officers entered homes in the favela without legal authorization.
The residents alleged that officers shot those who had surrendered and seized the mobile phones of the witnesses.
The police denied the allegations of abuse and stated that it acted in a planned manner and under the supervision of the District Attorney’s Office.
Governor Castro said police carried out the operation after a “long and detailed intelligence work” of over ten months.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW), as well as other global non-profits, have condemned the brutal operation, which residents of the Jacarezinho favela have described as a “massacre” and “genocide” against the black population.
The United Nations Human Rights agency has also expressed concern and denounced possible attempts by the security forces to prevent an independent investigation into what happened.
Police have killed a total of 453 people in Rio in the first quarter of this year, official data showed. EFE