rio de janeiro - The infamous commando unit of the police in Rio de Janeiro (BOPE) has propagated the Christmas message in a special way. An armed Santa wanted the residents of the Brazilian metropolis a 'Merry Christmas.' In addition to a white beard and red suit, the disguised agent also wore a bulletproof vest and an automatic rifle.
His Christmas wish with photo was a great success on Facebook. It got 3000 likes in no time. Many residents are in favor of harsh intervention because the security situation in Rio is deteriorating. The 'Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais', with as logo a skull with crossed pistols and a dagger through it, gave the citizen courage: 'Christmas has come and with it the hope for better times. '
BOPE receives heavy criticism, in addition to praise. The special police service is regularly accused of murder and violation of human rights during actions in the favelas, the slums. After the 2016 Olympic Games, it has become considerably more dangerous in Rio on the streets. This year 6173 people were killed by violence, an increase of more than 6 percent. 132 agents were also killed.