Rio police replace soldiers stationed in Maré favela
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Rio police replace soldiers stationed in Maré favela

Police in Rio de Janeiro have finished replacing more than 2,000 soldiers who had been stationed in the Maré complex of shantytowns to improve security and drive out the drug gangs that ruled the favela for decades.

The replacement process started in April and the last troops withdrew Wednesday from the nearly 4-square-mile area. About 130,000 people live there.

Soldiers moved into Maré a little over a year ago as part of the “police pacification program” that began in 2008 to secure Rio before last year’s World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Shootouts have dropped since the pacification program began, but many residents complain of heavy-handed police tactics.

Read more: police violence

Associated Press