A local congressman in Rio has been shot during an armed attack in northern Rio. Zico Bacana is a candidate in the upcoming municipal elections and was shot in the Ricardo de Albuquerque neighbourhood on Monday. G1 reported that three others were injured. Bacana is the deputy vice-speaker of the Rio city council. Police in Brazil have opened a series of investigations into criminal groups intimidating candidates running in the municipal elections in mid-November. More than 4, soldiers have been deployed to northern Brazil to patrol the border with French Guiana.
As part of the operation, soldiers will be tasked to assist in addressing the trafficking of weapons, gold and drugs. Since the operation started in late-October, a large haul of precious metals and drugs were seized. Criminal groups in remote areas in the Amazon are usually engaged in drug-trafficking, illegal logging and clandestine gold mines. Their presence is often associated with high levels of criminality in those regions, where police presence is virtually non-existent.
Major wildfires continue to burn across the Pantanal and Amazon regions, leading to severe environmental concerns over protected areas. In October, the National Institute for Space Investigations INPE said that more than 17, fires were confirmed in the Amazon, more than a double when compared with the same period last year. In total, 93, were reported this year. In the Pantanal region, the number of fires is the highest to be reported in the last two decades. Land burning and high levels of deforestation are behind historical fires in both regions.
The government has already deployed the military to assist in firefighting efforts in the Amazon. Carnival street celebrations in Rio have been officially suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Event organisers and public officials agreed on suspending the festivities due to health and safety concerns as there is not yet a date for the release of a vaccine. Additional claims include fears of a second wave of infections in Brazil.
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With the decision, the so-called street blocs will not take part in the festivities. Following claims that the Carnival would be cancelled, the situation has sparked concerns amongst those involved the organisation of the event, especially low-income families which rely on the event for income.
Gomes and Lula were political allies but they fell out ahead of the presidential election, when Gomes refused to support PT's presidential nominee Fernando Hadad. At least two people have died after a fire broke out at a hospital in Rio. Hundreds of patients have been evacuated after a blaze spread across one of the buildings of the Bonsucesso Federal Hospital, the largest public hospital in Rio. Although the fire broke out on Tuesday morning, firefighters have continued to fight the blaze into Wednesday.
The emergency services believe that the fire started at the hospital's basement, where disposable plastic diapers were being stored. Police have launched a major operation to capture wanted criminals in northern Rio. The operation happened in the Complexo da Mare and mainly targeted members of the Red Commando, one of the most powerful criminal groups in Brazil. G1 reported that hundreds of police officers, a helicopter and five armoured vehicles took part in the operation.
Operations in Rio sporadically lead to collateral casualties due to violent clashes involving criminals and police officers. Vice-President Hamilton Mourao has confirmed that the military will remain deployed in the Amazon region until at least April.
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In a decree, President Jair Bolsonaro has authorised the extension of the mission in the region, which was scheduled to end last July. The armed forces were deployed to the Amazon to address high-levels of environmental crime and to assist in fire-fighting efforts.
This year, Brazil has reported record-high rates of wildfires in the Amazon. A kidnapped doctor has been released following a police operation in Parana, southern Brazil. G1 reported that Tamires Silva was kidnapped in the southern city of Erechim, Rio Grande do Sul, and taken to two different locations in the neighbouring states of Santa Catarina and Parana. Tamires was held captive for five days and was released from captivity in the town of Cantagalo. Four people were arrested while police believe that others may be involved. A woman has been killed after a shooting broke out during a police pursuit in northern Rio.
G1 reported that the victim was shot in the head in the Catumbi area. The victim was identified as a local business owner who ran a food trailer. The incident happened just days after another victim was killed by a stray bullet, also in Catumbi. Police clashes with criminals sporadically lead to collateral casualties. Incidents usually occur in low-income areas in western and northern Rio.
At least three people have been killed during a violent shooting in northern Rio. G1 reported that the shooting involving two rival criminal factions broke out on Tuesday evening in the Morro do Juramento community. A girl was injured in the incident. According to the police, clashes erupted after a rival gang attempted to take over control of the community. A recent study involving several NGOs show that at least 52 neighbourhoods in Rio are under dispute - nearly 32 percent of the entire city. G1 reported that police raids took place in Rio and Niteroi. It mainly targeted former and current employees of the state-owned Petrobras.
The case concerns bribes paid in dealings of millions of gallons of jet fuel.
Several sectors within Petrobras have been implicated in major scandals worth billions of dollars. This is the 77th phase of the Car Wash investigations that already implicated high-level politicians and businessmen. A joint-study has concluded that more than half of the city of Rio is controlled by criminal groups.
Among the most prominent groups are the Red Commando, the Third Commando and the Amigos dos Amigos, while militias control 41 neighbourhoods in Rio - that represents 33 percent of the city's entire population. From all neighbourhoods in Rio, 52 of them are under disputes involving rival criminal groups. Those groups are often involved in violent clashes with the police. They are usually linked extortion, money-laundering, corruption, drug-trafficking and arms trafficking.
From five nominations, three of them have a military background. Since taking office, President Bolsonaro has nominated several members of the armed forces to lead government agencies. At least a dozen suspected criminals have been killed during a police operation in Rio. Extra reported that a special task force of the Civil Police targeted militiamen in the town of Itaguai. Reports indicate that a violent shooting broke out when police officers intercepted a group of 15 suspects on the BR highway.
Militia groups widely operate in Rio's metropolitan area. The operation happened in response to the murder of two political candidates earlier this month.
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Both were gunned down in Nova Iguacu. Coronavirus deaths in Brazil have surpassed ,, with the number of infections reaching five million. In recent weeks, Brazil has increased its coronavirus mortality rate to one of the highest in the world. Nearly a fifth of all cases confirmed in the country are in the south-eastern state of Sao Paulo.
A high incidence of cases has also been confirmed across states in northern and north-eastern Brazil.
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It is feared that the number of infections and coronavirus-related deaths in Brazil could be much higher mainly due to underreporting and lack of testing in some isolated areas. A notorious drug lord is on the run after being released from a maximum-security prison in Sao Paulo. He was detained since last year in the resort city of Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro. He was initially sent to house arrest, the decision was overturned just hours later.
PCC is one of the most powerful criminal groups in Brazil. President Jair Bolsonaro has said that he has ended the 'Car Wash' investigations over claims that corruption has already been flushed out of his government. Bolsonaro made the remarks after allegations that his Supreme Court nominee, Kassio Nunes, is an avid critic of the operation.
The Car Wash investigations are a highly divisive political issue. It has already led to the conviction of dozens of high-level politicians - including former President Lula da Silva - and businessmen involved in a massive corruption network. Although the president has no power to shut it down, the investigations have been at odds since Federal Judge Sergio Moro - who left the Car Wash to become Bolsonaro's justice minister - and Car Wash coordinator Deltan Dellagnol stepped down.
Coronavirus cases in Brazil have surpassed five million as the country fears a second wave of infections. Data from the health ministry show that more than 31, new cases were confirmed on Wednesday. Brazil has the third-highest number of cases in the world, while the country's death toll is quickly approaching , Despite reporting the highest numbers in Latin America, the number of cases and deaths are slightly lower when compared with previous months.
Two suspects have died during a police operation against a group that operated at the Viracopos International Airport in Sao Paulo. The Federal Police PF led a major operation in Campinas, where eight people were arrested for involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering. The operations started last year after a large haul of cocaine was seized at the airport. The police claim that several staff members at Viracopos were also involved in the scheme.
National Guard soldiers have been deployed to the Pantanal wetlands as a major wildfire continues to spread in the region. For several weeks, wildfires have affected the south-eastern state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Justice Minister Andre Mendonca has authorised the deployment of soldiers for an initial period of 30 days. Official data shows that more than 8, wildfires were reported in the Pantanal region in September, the worst in history.
Since taking office, President Jair Bolsonaro has been pressured to address continuous wildfires in the Pantanal and the Amazon regions.
Country profile for Brazil
Brazil has extended its land and maritime border closures until the end of October. With the measures, foreign nationals are forbidden from entering the country through those borders. Brazil has reported nearly five million coronavirus cases as the number of deaths nears , The country has recently reopened its air borders - with some restrictions - after months of closure. Nunes' nomination came as a surprise as Andre Mendoca - the current justice minister - was among the main contenders to replace Minister Celso de Mello, who reached the maximum age for the post.
Nunes has an extensive academic career and was the vice-president of a Federal Regional Court. His nomination still has to be approved in the Senate. Two former government officials were also targeted. Several governors and government officials have been previously investigated for corruption in the purchase of sanitary equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.
Police have launched a major operation against an organised crime group based in Sao Paulo. Reports show that dozens of companies linked to petrol stations were used for money laundering and other crimes. President Jair Bolsonaro's son, Flavio Bolsonaro, is set to be the target of corruption charges.
O Globo reported that Flavio is accused of money laundering, racketeering and embezzlement as part of a major corruption scheme involving civil servants' salaries.
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