Coffee and biscuits with the military police

May 30, 2008

In the morning the whole team went to meet a representative of the military police at their headquarters in Copacabana.  Here they had a very interesting discussion about the problems associated with drug trafficking in the city’s slums and also the problems they encounter in the tourist areas of Rio.

After the discussion they saw the team responsible for monitoring CCTV cameras at work and were then treated by the captain to coffee, biscuits and croissants.

After this meeting the team took the metro across town to the Rio chamber of commerce where they presented to Gloria Rotary Club on the 15th floor.  Chris and Georg’ hosts Milton and Lia were present along with their nephew Tiago. Milton is the club president.

After the presentation Chris, Georg and Katie walked around the city centre with Tiago and Ana.  The fantastic weather broke briefly with a torrential downpour.  The team sheltered in a colourful local market.

To round off the day the team, with Ana and Paolo met up in Bar Luiz for a few Chopps ( a local draught beer).  Bar Luiz is a German bar that, before the second world war, was called Adolf’s!  After some protests at the time the name was changed.

BOPE – Tropa de Elite

May 28, 2008

BOPE were paid a visit today at their secluded training base.  They are seen as the elite training corps in Brazil and specialise in tackling drugs and gun crime within the heavily armed favellas.  They use the same tactics as the British SAS and are provided with the best equipment, armoured vehicles, helicopters and boats in order to facilitate the most appropriate manner of entry into the problem area. 

They face gunfire attack daily and lose a high proportion of officers each year who are killed on duty.  Tropa de Elite, a film about the force won the top award at the Berlin film festival.


Visit to Copacabana Civil Police

May 27, 2008

The initial visit made to the civil police who police the area of Copacabana was made by Elaine and Adam.  They were warmly received at Copacabana police station.  They were shown around the station and witnessed an arrest taking place whilst there.  They viewed the cell area and interview rooms, this station being a holding station short-term.  A poster on display in the station shows officers from this force killed on duty within the last twelve months.

They were also shown the firearms used by the officers in this force and were allowed to handle them in order to guage their weight.  Officers retain personal guns on and off duty.