The incident occurred during a morning of heavy rains and hours after a shootout between police and alleged narco-traffickers in the favela of Rocinha RIO DE JANEIRO BRAZIL. –
A Spaniard who visited one of the largest favelas in Brazil as part of a tourist trip was killed by military police on Monday when her vehicle did not stop at a police checkpoint, authorities said.
This is the latest example of the rise in violence in Rio de Janeiro after the city hosted the Olympic Games.
It will surely attract criticism to both the military police, accused by many of firing first and then asking, as well as tourist companies that carry foreigners to areas of frequent conflict.
Valeria Aragao, a tourist police inspector, said authorities would consider filing criminal charges against tourism operators.
Tourists saw the police circulate and they felt safer, when in fact it was just the opposite, said Aragao, who added that the visitors were taken to a conflict zone.
The incident occurred during a morning of heavy rains and hours after a shootout between police and alleged narco-traffickers in the Rocinha favela. Two officers were reported to have been injured.
Around 10:30 am, a car overlooked a road checkpoint and the uniformed men fired their guns, according to a police statement.
When the policemen arrived at the vehicle they noticed that the passengers were tourists and they were accompanied by a guide.
The Spaniard, identified as Maria Esperanza Jimenez Ruiz, was taken to a hospital but died because of her injuries.
Authorities said she was injured in the neck and had a cardiac arrest.
The driver of the car, who is an Italian living in Brazil, said he did not see any checkpoint, police inspector Fabio Cardoso, who is in charge of investigating crimes, said.
The car had on board two other Spaniards and a Brazilian tourist guide, according to Aragao.
Cardoso told the media that an investigation into the actions of the military police has begun.
This is unacceptable, Cardoso said. We will try to identify and detain the person responsible for this cowardly act against a Spanish tourist.
In recent weeks, military police and army soldiers have carried out numerous operations in Rocinha, which borders some of Rio’s wealthiest neighborhoods in the southern sector of the city.
Authorities say they are hunting for notorious drug traffickers, who have been fighting for control of the territory.
Visits to favelas have been common for years.
Many of these areas contain cultural and architectural works, as well as samba, music and art schools.
However, due to the recent economic crisis and the increase in violence, visits to favelas have become less frequent.