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Brazil's New President and Special Ops Police Combat Epidemic of Violence

Brazil's New President and Special Ops Police Combat Epidemic of Violence Read Transcript


- [Chuck] Rival drug gangsbattling for territory

across Brazil have driven its murder rate

to more than 60,000 per year.

In the poorest communities,called favelas,

a young man there is morelikely to die by gunfire

than a soldier in an active war zone.

This young mother of two

asked that we not reveal her name.

- [Translator] Our mainproblem is all the violence.

Sometimes, I can't eventake my kids to school

or even my baby to thehospital if he's sick.

When we're at the house andthe shooting starts outside,

I'm already teaching my children

to lie down on the floor and not move.

Stray bullets are very common here.

- [Chuck] Fed up with theviolence, in October 2018,

the Brazilian peopleelected a new president,

Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain

who promised to take atough stance on crime.

Bolsonaro is committed tostepping up enforcement

in the worst neighborhoods,even sending troops

into the favelas to take on the gangs.

One of the most elite andwell armed police units

is known as BOPE.

- [Translator] The mission of BOPE

is to act in situations wherethe local police cannot.

For example, hostage situations,

combatting drug dealers, andprotecting the population

through specialized operations.

Despite being a military force,

we are actually part of the police

and we use specializedequipment and weapons.

- This favela thatthey're training in today

is one that they've already cleared

so we know that it's safe,

but you can see the tacticalway that they learn to move,

and that's because you don't really know

who the bad guys are untilthey're shooting at you.

And as you can see, there arewomen and children in here

and they have to go rightby all these civilians.

And the level of training that it takes

to keep from shooting peoplethat don't need to be shot

is really high.

(speaking foreign language)

- [Translator] Our first priority

is to always protect thelives of the citizens.

We must be very aggressive, however,

because the sheer amount of violence

in the areas where we operate.

Victory for us is going intobattle against these gangs

who often bring superior numbers

and winning without losing any of our men.

- [Chuck] But for the peopleliving in these favelas,

victory might simply looklike making it home safely

one more day.

From Rio de Janeiro, I'mChuck Holton for CBN News.

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