RIO DE JANEIRO, April 8 — At least four people were killed and 142 arrested on Saturday in a wide-ranging Brazilian police dragnet in Rio de Janeiro.
The operation was part of a crackdown against paramilitary organized criminal groups in the Santa Cruz neighborhood in west Rio.
Police raided a party attended by Wellington da Silva Braga, believed to be the leader of the city’s largest paramilitary group. The four victims were his bodyguards while Braga managed to have escaped.
Police said they rounded up weapons, including grenades, bulletproof vests, and stolen vehicles.
The criminal groups, which run extortion rings that demand money from local businesses, are comprised of former police officers, ex-members of the military or active security personnel, authorities said.