RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Hundreds of people marched Saturday through the narrow streets of one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest complex of slums in a peaceful demonstration demanding an end to recent violence.
During the four-hour-long demonstration at the Complexo Alemao, protesters carried banners reading “less bullets – more love,” and “we don’t want any more deaths.”
Community leaders told reporters that at least 500 people took part in the demonstration.
The march came one day after residents briefly clashed with police at the end of a rally held to protest the shooting death of a boy in the shantytown, allegedly at the hands of police.
Ten-year-old Eduardo de Jesus Ferreira was shot dead Thursday during a police operation against suspected drug traffickers.
The boy’s mother, Terezinha Maria de Jesus, told the G1 news portal that her son was at the door of their home when she saw a police officer shoot him.
The police department has said that the officers involved in the anti-gang operation have been suspended pending an investigation.
Violence has wracked the Complexo Alemao in recent days with several suspects and bystanders shot as gangs and police exchange intense gunfire.
A 41-year-old housewife died after being hit by a stray bullet last week.
And at least two suspected gang members were killed during a firefight on Wednesday. Another three people were shot as well, all believed to have no connections to gangs. One policeman was hurt.