Brazilian armed forces raided a slum in Rio de Janeiro, taking over the community without firing a shot.
A joint operation between military police, intelligence agents and marines saw nearly 1,000 troops, 14 armored vehicles and five helicopters invade the neighborhoods of Morro da Mangueira, Morro dos Telegrafos and Candelaria.
More than 300,000 residents live in the three Rio districts.
The troops entered the informal communities, which are now under police control, Sunday morning in an attempt to rid the slums of violent gangs. The gangs had fled in advance of the operation. No arrests were reported, but sources say that around 300 bundles of marijuana were sized.
The whole maneuver took an hour and a half. The raid, which was announced in advance, was a welcome contrast to a similar raid in November, when 35 people died in clashes between gangs and police.
While the raid was again targeted at Rio's gangs, the strike was directly related to the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The Managueria favela is located on the hill above Maracana Stadium, which will be used in both games.
Such government beautification efforts frequently surround what the United Nations has labeled mega-events, such as the Olympics, World Cup and other international sporting events. For example, 200-300 people were evicted from informal settlements in Dallas, Texas before the 1994 World Cup.
Similarly, in India, 35,000 families were removed from public land before the 2010 Commonwealth games.
Such measures are institutionalized by national governments. Homelessness was made illegal in Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Olympics, resulting in 9,000 police citations.
Rio has a long history of improving slum life and for the past two decades the local government has been working to build a plumbing infrastructure in the Tijuacu community on the outskirts of the city.