Despite the pandemic, Rio has daily shootouts near healthcare centers

rio de janeiro Santa Marta favela, in Botafogo. Photo: Photocarioca/Shutterstock
Santa Marta favela, in Botafogo. Photo: Photocarioca/Shutterstock

Not even the Covid-19 pandemic has been enough to impose a ceasefire in Rio de Janeiro. Despite the 32-percent overall drop in the number of shootouts compared to last year, the city registered at least 300 shootings near health care centers between March 14 and May 13, data from collaborative platform Fogo Cruzado has shown.

It is estimated that 577 private and public institutions have been affected by these conflicts, with shootouts happening less than 300 meters away. In moments like these, some health care units operate under a “war protocol,” which allows them to shut down in case of enhanced tensions. 

Another study by the Rio de Janeiro Security Observatory has shown that police incursions, which had decreased by over 80 percent after the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in Brazil in late March, began to increase again. Between April and May, the number of incursions increased by 32 percent in comparison to last year. 

Studies have shown that the number of collateral deaths is also on the rise in the country, with the death of innocent 14-year-old João Pedro Matos by the Rio police as the latest example. As illustrated by writer Bruno Rico on an op-ed published by The Brazilian Report today, “favela lives don’t matter” in Brazil.

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