U.N. Calls For Investigation As Police In Brazil Kill At Least 24 In Rio Drug Raid U.N. Calls For Investigation As Police In Brazil Kill At Least 24 In Rio Drug Raid Residentes protest after a one-time offer police operation against alleged drug traffickers at the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday. Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images hide caption Residentes protest after a police operation against alleged drug traffickers at the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday. A police raid aimed at alleged drug traffickers that left at least 25 people dead in a shootout in a Rio de Janeiro slum has drawn criticism from the United Nations human rights office, which is calling for an independent investigation, citing a history of "disproportionate and unnecessary" use of force by police in Brazil. Helicopters and a contingent of some 200 heavily armed police officers on Thursday descended on the crowded, poor and mostly non-white community of Jacarezinho – one of the city's largest slums, which is largely controlled by one of the country's leading criminal gangs, Comando Vermelho , or Red Command. Witnesses described the operation as a terrifying firefight, with suspects leaping from rooftops. Brazil's COVID-19 Deaths Top 400,000 Amid Fears Of Worsening Crisis "We call for the prosecutor to conduct an independent and thorough investigation into the case according to international standards," Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Friday at a briefing in Geneva. He said Thursday's police operation "furthers a long-standing trend of unnecessary and disproportionate use of force by police in Brazil's poor, marginalized and predominantly Afro-Brazilian neighborhoods, known as favelas." The use of such force should only be a last resort, Colville said. Police say at least 24 drug traffickers and one police officer were killed in the raid. They have denied any wrongdoing and say they acted in self-defense. But residents of Jacarezinho say police gunned down suspects who wanted to surrender and barged into homes without a warrant. Two civilians were injured inside a subway when a stray bullet shattered the glass of a car, The Associated Press reported. Stray bullets also injured three police officers, according to the Rio Times. Felipe Curi, a detective in Rio's civil police, denied there had been any executions. "There were no suspects killed. They were all traffickers or criminals who tried to take the lives of our police officers and there was no other alternative," Felipe Curi, a detective in Rio's civil police, said during a news conference Thursday, according to the AP. Speaking to Reuters , police chief Ronaldo Oliviera described Thursday's raid as resulting in "one of the largest death tolls in a police operation in Rio." A similar police raid in Rio's northern outskirts killed 29 people in 2005. Last year, Brazil's Supreme Court banned police operations in favelas during the pandemic, except in exceptional circumstances. However, human rights groups say the ruling hasn't stopped authorities from using indiscriminate lethal force against some of the country's most vulnerable populations.https://www.npr.org/2021/05/07/994588467/u-n-calls-for-investigation-as-police-in-brazil-kill-at-least-24-in-rio-drug-rai?ft=nprml&f=
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(Courtesy photos) You have 2 free articles left this month. SWAMPSCOTT — The town has appointed Amy Sarro and Patrick Luddy as the new finance director and treasurer/collector, respectively, after the departure of Ron Mendes, assistant town administrator for finance. Sarro has served as the town accountant for a year. “I have come to see Amy as a really strong colleague,” said Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald at Monday night’s Select Board meeting. “She is somebody that I frankly believe gives good advice. She’s clear with her analysis. She’s got a strong background in finance. She continues to work to improve her knowledge, and I think she can really help us build upon the foundation we’ve laid over the last few years to help Swampscott balance our financial priorities.” Board Chair Peter Spellios agreed, saying that he thought Sarro’s experience would help Swampscott continue to improve its financial standing. “I appreciate her enthusiasm and seriousness and willingness to take on the task,” he said. “Your acumen and your focus on how to further improve systems and the way in which we budget and the way in which we account, the way in which we administer is going to be really, really important.” Sarro thanked the board, who voted unanimously to approve the appointment, saying that she has already started thinking about ways to improve the town. “I have a lot of really great plans to bring the Finance Department up to a level that I feel the town really needs,” she said. Luddy has worked at the town hall for three years, starting as an intern while he finished his bachelor’s degree in accounting. Fitzgerald noted that Luddy will receive his master’s degree in accounting in the coming weeks. “He has demonstrated an extraordinary work ethic,” Fitzgerald said of Luddy. “He is a really keen, focused professional. Having somebody of his ability to help us manage our finances and really grow into a strong leadership role is going to be critical.” Luddy, who was also voted in unanimously, said he was excited to continue his position with the town, and that he had learned a lot through his work in Swampscott. “It’s really opened my eyes into the municipal world and all the challenges that all the cities and towns in Massachusetts and across the country face and Swampscott’s unique challenges,” he said. The two positions were vacant after Mendes announced in April that he had accepted a position working for the City of Newton. He has worked for Swampscott for seven years, and was appointed assistant town administrator in 2017. He will start his new position as city treasurer on May 17. Select Board members thanked Mendes for his work with the town over the years. “Before Ron came here, some of the things we’ve done are night and day,” said board member Don Hause.https://www.itemlive.com/2021/05/07/swampscott-promotes-new-finance-director-treasurer-collector/