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Toll Reaches 50 In Latest Wave Of Violence In Rio

Sun., May 7, 1995

For the second day in a row, 25 people were killed in this coastal city’s latest wave of violence.

One of those killed was a high school senior who was sitting by a classroom window when a stray bullet struck her in the face. Simone Rayol Cesario, 18, died Friday, the newspaper O Globo reported Saturday.

An evangelist priest, 35-year-old Jones Gedeao Heiderich, was gunned down outside the Vigario Geral shantytown while trying to slip past a roadblock set up by bandits. When his car hit a post, the bandits shot him several times.

“This city is living the terror of a civil war,” Mayor Cesar Maia said last week of the violence that killed 25 people Thursday, then 25 more on Friday.

The wave of killings came 40 days after the beginning of Operation Rio 2, in which the armed forces were sent into the streets to crack down on violence. But rather than decreasing crime, O Globo reported last week, bank robberies and car thefts have soared since the operation started.

In other unrest, street vendors threw rocks at police in the Copacabana district Friday to protest an effort to force them off the sidewalks.


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