DEA agents open Rio de Janeiro office

October 19, 2015

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — U.S. agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have opened an office in Rio de Janeiro, host city for next year’s Olympics, to help local forces fight drug and weapons traffickers, officials said Monday.

“There has been cooperation with U.S. federal agents in Rio since August,” a source with the Rio state security office told AFP.

The state secretary for security, José Mariano Beltrame, told Globo television that the DEA’s presence “was a boost for the country.”

“We will have a specialist group here in Rio de Janeiro,” he said in televised comments.

Beltrame said that DEA expertise with international intelligence would help “to identify people, equipment, drugs and other things.”

Brazilian police, backed by heavily armed special forces, are locked in a bloody struggle with drug gangs, some of them armed with powerful assault rifles, in poor neighborhoods of Rio known as favelas.

Human rights organizations regularly accuse Brazilian police of carrying out impromptu executions and tampering with evidence. With 1,305 murders in 2014 — the last statistics available — Rio de Janeiro is one of the most violent cities in the country.

According to Brazilian weekly Isto E, two agents are already in the city, which next August will host South America’s first Olympic Games.

“I can confirm that the DEA has opened an office in Rio. It is located at the U.S. consulate general,” DEA spokesman Matt Barden told AFP in Washington.

Barden said the DEA had long been active in Brazil but that the new office would increase its effectiveness.

You may be interested

Costa Rica’s ongoing strike hits tourism industry hard
Travel & Tourism
1433 views3
Travel & Tourism
1433 views3

Costa Rica’s ongoing strike hits tourism industry hard

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2018

The strike that has been gripping Costa Rica since Sept. 10 has begun taking its toll on one of the…

Off the eaten path: Cantina X
Dining and Nightlife
1452 views
Dining and Nightlife
1452 views

Off the eaten path: Cantina X

William Ayre - September 21, 2018

You’ll find one of the best chifrijos in the country at the base of a mountain near Salitral in Santa…

Costa Rica eyeing four candidates to lead La Sele
La Sele
1473 views
La Sele
1473 views

Costa Rica eyeing four candidates to lead La Sele

AFP and The Tico Times - September 20, 2018

Costa Rica is looking at four potential candidates to fill the position of head coach of the national team amid…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.