Corruption crackdown sweeps through Rio police | News | DW | 05.12.2012
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Corruption crackdown sweeps through Rio police

In an attempt to fight police corruption ahead of the World Cup and Summer Olympics in Brazil, authorities in Rio have arrested 63 alleged crooked cops. The officers are said to have been involved in drug trafficking.

Night view of Copacabana beach. Rio de Janeiro © ekaterina_belova #39938069

Copacabana Rio bei Nacht

Brazilian law enforcement agencies launched "Operation Purification" on Tuesday after over a year of investigation of corrupt police officers and their involvement in a drug trafficking organization.

In addition to 63 police officers, 11 drug traffickers were arrested on Tuesday in the coastal Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian authorities are attempting to crack down on crime and corruption ahead of the 2014 World Cup, which will be held in various cities around the country, and the 2016 Olympics, which will be held in Rio.

"It's important that we cut into our own flesh so the institution can earn legitimacy," said Mariano Beltrame, the city's state security secretary.

In addition to the drug trafficking charges, some of the officers arrested face corruption and kidnapping charges.

Certain suburbs of Rio are heavily ridden with crime. The officers arrested are thought to have taken bribes from drug traffickers to turn a blind eye to the drug trade.

mz/jr (Reuters, AP)