Coronavirus

Supreme Court halts police raids in Rio favelas during pandemic

Favela residents protest police brutality. Photo: Fernando Frazão/ABr
Favela residents protest police brutality. Photo: Fernando Frazão/ABr

Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin has prohibited any police operation inside Rio de Janeiro favelas until the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to avoid compromising healthcare services and putting the lives of low-income Brazilians at risk

In his decision, Justice Fachin referred to the murder of teenager João Pedro, who was shot by the police in May. “Nothing justifies a 14-year-old getting shot over 70 times.”

Back in March, The Brazilian Report’s Brazil Weekly explained the implications of the spread of the novel coronavirus to the country’s favelas. As of early May, the disease, which arrived in the country through upper-class Brazilians, was already disproportionately affecting low-income non-whites — many of them favela residents.

The Supreme Court decision allows for operations only in “absolutely exceptional” cases.

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