RIO DE JANEIRO — Two Brazilian police officers were killed and five others injured in separate attacks over the weekend in the violent slums of Rio de Janeiro.
A military police officer died and two others were wounded early Sunday in a gun battle with armed men in a shantytown, police said. The body of another policeman was found Saturday outside a health center. The body had bullet wounds and was apparently dumped from a car. Three other officers were shot in separate attacks in a violent slum and near the city's port.
As the city prepares to host the 2016 Olympics, security officials are struggling to curb a wave of violence that left more than 100 officers dead last year. Brazilian police killed more than 11,000 people between 2009 and 2013, according to a public safety non-governmental organization. Rio de Janeiro state, home to the city of the same name, was the most deadly, registering 416 deaths in 2013 alone.
Activists have increasingly voiced their worries over the use of excessive force by police. Last month, Rio's homicide division announced that it was changing the way it investigates slayings by officers who claim the victims died while resisting arrest. Victims' relatives say they are summary executions. They used to be investigated by neighborhood precincts but will now fall under the homicide unit.