February 7, 2011 in Nation/World

Brazil police take more slums

Areas are controlled by drug traffickers
Associated Press
Associated Press photo

A boy plays with a kite as police officers patrol during an operation to take control of the Sao Carlos Slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday.
(Full-size photo)

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Police faced no resistance Sunday as they took control of nine more slums commanded by drug traffickers, an operation that also led to the arrest of an allegedly fake German doctor working at a makeshift hospital in one of the shantytowns.

Backed by dozens of armored vehicles and a helicopter, nearly 1,000 police officers, agents and troops invaded the downtown slums and easily took control in less than two hours.

A police spokesman said authorities will now begin installing police units in the shantytowns under a program in which security forces have been taking over and pacifying the city’s poor communities.

Authorities said that while police searched for drug traffickers, weapons and drugs, they found a German man who is living illegally in Brazil and apparently helped treat injured gang members at a house in a slum.

Police Col. Aristeu Leonardo told Globo TV that the man was wearing a doctor’s jacket when he was detained. He said the man confessed he had acted as a doctor even though he never finished his medical studies in Germany.

Leonardo said the man, who was not immediately identified, was only a paramedic whose tourist visa expired in 2007.

“He was not supposed to be working because he is not a doctor and because he supposedly was a tourist,” Leonardo said. “Now we will investigate whether the place he was working was used to treat drug traffickers or if he only provided medical services to the community. Either way, it was illegal.”

Brazil’s federal police planned to investigate the alleged irregularities on the man’s visa.

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