RIO DE JANEIRO — Students from the Maré neighborhood, one of Rio’s favelas, said that their school was shot at Wednesday Sept. 19. The shots were reported to have come from a Civil Police helicopter.
Early that morning there were reports of intense crossfire. Videos posted on social media show the low-flying aircraft with the sound of gunfire.
“The children were playing,” one witness said. “The chopper passed over, and all of them started to run. Then they shot.”
In an official statement released by the end of that morning, the police reported no injuries. According to the commander, agents of the police tactical unit of Rio de Janeiro (Core Coordination of Special Assets, in Portuguese) gave support to the Under-Secretariat of Intelligence (SNI, a minor branch of ABIN, Brazil’s intelligence agency).
There were no details about the mission’s end. The local news network, G1, asked for clarifications over the accusations of shootings at the Municipal School, Wilian Peixoto, but until now, no answer was given.
On that same day, in a different report, the military police stated that they did an operation on the same zone of the city, on the collection of favelas known as Complexo do Alemão. Five people died, while one officer was shot and is currently in serious condition.
The Municipal Secretary of Education, Talma Romero Suane, informed the public that the municipal schools were not closed on that Wednesday.
“Schools regularly keep their doors open to the population,” Suane said in a statement. “Due to shootings between police and ruffians in certain parts of Rio communities, many parents and legal guardians take the initiative to pick up their children in the teaching units, and the period ends up interrupted for some children.”
This story was sent to the Daily Planet anonymously under the request it be shared under the byline of Lois Lane. If you’re interested in contributing anonymously, under a pen name, check out our contribution page.
Featured photo shows children looking for cover under crossfire at Maré. Photo courtesy Reproduction/Social media