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A dancer's death lit the fuse of violent protests near Rio's Copacabana
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

At least one person was killed in the violent protests that shook the Pavao-Pavaozinho favela, near Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach.

Demonstrators set fire to barricades made of tires and threw bottles to protest the death of Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira, a dancer.

Da Silva Pereira's friends alleged that he was caught in the middle of a shoot-out between police and drug traffickers on Monday. They said he was beaten to death. Police told Agence France-Presse that they believed evidence showed he died in a fall.

More from GlobalPost: Murder rap: Who’s killing Brazil’s MCs?

The dancer's mother, a nurse, said, "He died at 1 in the morning. More than 12 hours afterwards we got to see the body. He was in a defensive posture, all beaten up."

"There were no signs of gunshot wounds," Maria de Fatima da Silva pointed out.

Local media reported that at least one person was killed in the protests that followed Da Silva Pereira's death, and a 12-year-old boy was injured.

Brazilian troops have been entering the country's slums ahead of the World Cup to "pacify" the favelas, which are seen as havens for organized crime.

More from GlobalPost: Brazilian troops enter slums in Rio to quell violence ahead of the World Cup

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A Brazilian Police Special Force member takes position during a violent protest in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro on April 22, 2014. People took to the streets and burnt tires during a protest following the death of a young dancer last weekend in a nearby favela, during clashes with the army.

(Christophe Simon - AFP/Getty Images)
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Brazilian Police Special Forces members take position during a violent protest in a favela near Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 22, 2014.

(Christophe Simon - AFP/Getty Images)
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Residents hold up their hands as Brazilian Police Special Forces members take position during a violent protest in a favela near Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 22, 2014.

(Christophe Simon - AFP/Getty Images)
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A military policeman checks locals during a protest in a favela next to Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro on April 22, 2014.

(Christophe Simon - AFP/Getty Images)
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Brazilian special forces aim their weapons following shootings in the pacified Pavao-Pavaozinho community, just blocks from Copacabana Beach, on April 22, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(Mario Tama - AFP/Getty Images)
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Pools of blood remain from where protesters allege a child was shot near the pacified Pavao-Pavaozinho community, just blocks from Copacabana Beach, on April 22, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(Mario Tama - AFP/Getty Images)
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Firefighters put out fires set by protesters following shootings in the pacified Pavao-Pavaozinho community, just blocks from Copacabana Beach, on April 22, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(Mario Tama - AFP/Getty Images)
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People walk through smoke from fires set by protesters following shootings in the pacified Pavao-Pavaozinho community, just blocks from Copacabana Beach, on April 22, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(Mario Tama - AFP/Getty Images)
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Brazilian police patrol following shootings in the pacified Pavao-Pavaozinho community, just blocks from Copacabana Beach, on April 22, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(Mario Tama - AFP/Getty Images)
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