BOPE is the Special Operations Police Battalion in Rio de Janeiro. Here we see BOPE officers at a protest, which is always a cause of scandal and legitimate fear. BOPE is primarily called on to wage urban warfare against the heavily armed gangs that exercise territorial control over the favelas in Rio de Janeiro. International and national human rights organizations have denounced BOPE for torture, kidnapping and extrajudicial killings. On the other hand they are celebrated by some in Brazil for confronting the drug gangs and fighting fire with fire; and even more liberally minded Brazilians are hesitant to wholly denounce their extreme tactics since they are popularly associated with a reduction in violent crime.
[Photo by Mídia NINJA]