Slums In Brazil And Elite Police Officers Of BOPE (21 pics)
1An aerial view of the Rocinha — one of Rio's many favelas.
2BOPE, the elite military police battalion, enter the unpacified Complexo da Mare, one of the largest favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
3A BOPE officer reads notes — allegedly from drug traffickers — that lists the amount that was paid to people who tipped off gang members about police presence.
4A BOPE officer walks beside a bullet pocked wall during an operation.
5A man reads a newspaper as BOPE take positions during a raid of the Mangueira slum.
6An elderly woman crosses paths with members of BOPE while they search homes for guns and drugs.
7Members of BOPE are equipped with weapons and tactics that normal police officers are not issued or trained for.
8The close-quarters of the favelas give BOPE officers a challenge. Given that the gangs and militias in the favelas are highly organized, BOPE officers undergo an intense training regimen.
9A member of BOPE listens at a door while on a patrol.
10A BOPE officer startles a young sleeping couple while searching homes for guns and drugs.
11With an emblazoned logo of "caveira" or skull, BOPE strikes fear into criminals operating in the slums.
12A man is searched by a BOPE officer in a favela. In addition to rooting out crime, BOPE also has a peace-keeping mission of interacting with the community through meetings and sports events.
13Night-time raids can be a blessing and a curse for BOPE officers. Often times, criminals equipped with radios have knowledge of an incoming raid well before they arrive to their favela.
14Their motto, "victory over death" is not only a testament to their determination, but also evidence of the fact that even a minor mistake can cost them their lives.
15It's not unusual to find a BOPE officer that has been shot back on patrol. Given the favela's dangerous nature, even cameramen documenting their work can easily find themselves between a gun fight.
16Simulated crime scenarios, such as this one on a train in Maracana stadium, provide BOPE officers valuable training for the upcoming Olympic Games.
17Pacifying each favela and its many alleyways is a daunting workout, especially when carrying all of their extra gear.
18BOPE officers takes position on the rooftop of a school at the Rocinha slum.
19As if their weapons weren't intimidating enough, each BOPE officer is trained for urban and jungle warfare — they even hold mixed-martial arts seminars from infamous fighters such as Anderson Silva.
20Fog hovers by Christ the Redeemer statue with the Cantagalo favela in the foreground on January 4, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With the Olympic Games set to start next month, time will tell if the pacification efforts of this elite force has paid off.