Top Rio Militia Boss Killed In Raid: Brazilian Police

Top Rio militia boss killed in raid: Brazilian police

Rio de Janeiro, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 13th Jun, 2021 ) :Police said they killed one of Brazil's most-wanted criminals Saturday in a raid, Wellington "Ecko" da Silva Braga, accused of leading the biggest militia group in Rio de Janeiro.

Police said 21 officers moved to capture Braga, the alleged head of a drug trafficking and extorsion racket known as the Justice League or Bonde do Ecko, after learning he would be at his wife's house for Brazilian Valentine's Day.

However, he fled when police arrived at the residence in the Tres Pontes favela on Rio's west side, leading an officer to shoot and wound him, police intelligence official Thiago Neves told a news conference.

After he was captured, Braga tried to seize an officer's gun, leading police to shoot him again, Neves said.

He died of his wounds as police were taking him to the hospital, he said.

Braga faced various arrest warrants for drug trafficking, extortion and murder.

Police called him the "boss of the largest active militia in Rio de Janeiro state.

" "Today is an important day. We hit the state's criminal gangs hard. Congratulations police for the surgical, top-secret operation that captured Ecko, the most-wanted militia boss in Brazil," Governor Claudio Castro wrote on Twitter.

Paramilitary militia groups control more than half the territory of the city of Rio, installing a reign of terror in poor favela neighbourhoods that are home to more than two million people, according to a study last year by a consortium of universities, online watchdog platforms and a government anti-crime hotline.

Militia members are often former police officers or other security force members.

They initially formed as neighbourhood watch groups to protect residents from drug gangs in the city, which is known for its picturesque beaches but also its violent crime.

The groups, however, soon evolved into organized crime groups themselves, controlling sectors including internet service, cable tv, transportation and most recently construction.