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Brazil: The battle for Rio de Janeiro

Police notch a rare victory in war against Rio's drug gangs after a sweep through city's slums.

Public reaction to the operation has been largely positive, with even some aid workers saying the city’s notoriously lethal police force seems to have so far shown restraint.

“We are relieved, but we are still worried,” said Jorge Barbosa, who works for Observatorio de Favelas, an aid organization that operates in the city’s slums. “We have this experience from the past here in the city where militarized actions turn these communities into theaters of war.”

Barbosa said the key to securing a long-term victory will be holding onto the newly cleared communities, and reaching out to them with more than gun barrels.

“Security has to be followed with other important resources,” he said. “Public health programs, education and culture that guarantees young people a way out of the world of crime.”