More than 2,000 Brazilian soldiers stormed into a Rio de Janeiro slum complex with armored personnel carriers and helicopters to improve security before the start of the World Cup.
The soliders occupied the Mare shantytown — considered one of the Rio's most violent and dangerous — which has been ruled over by drug gangs for decades, said AP.
The occupation is part of the government's "pacifying police force" strategy aimed at taking over some of Rio's more than 1,000 slums before Brazil plays host to the World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympics, said AP.
The 2,050 Army troops, 450 Marines and 200 police officers that entered the Mare slum complex are expected to remain in Mare until the end of July, when they are to hand control over to the police, according to the Defense Ministry, said AP.
ecurity forces will eventually establish a permanent post in Mare. Police have installed 37 such posts under the pacification program, which was begun in 2008 and has so far brought policing to an estimated 1.5 million people, said AP.