Slum dwellers in Sao Paolo have clashed with police during an official eviction operation. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesting residents, who responded with stones and Molotov cocktails.
AFP - More than 1,200 residents of a slum on the outskirts of South America's biggest city of Sao Paulo were Monday using fiery barricades to resist a police eviction.
Black smoke from ignited tires streamed into the sky above the Capao Redondo shanty town in the city's south as 250 police in riot gear confronted protesters, live television images showed.
The flames had spread to 14 rickety wooden houses in the slum and threatened to consume others.
Police fired tear gas to disperse knots of protesting residents, who responded with stones and Molotov cocktails.
The police commander for the zone, Carlos Botelho, told Global News that "it's normal to see some small resistance."
He insisted that "the situation is in hand" and the eviction operation would continue.
He said one person had been injured and two arrests made.
The eviction aimed to put an end to a two-year occupation of land belonging to a coach company taken over by the slum dwellers.
All of Brazil's big cities have slums. In the worst areas, especially in Rio de Janeiro, they are high-crime zones where police do not dare to patrol.
Date created : 2009-08-25