Eleven tons of marijuana, a stockpile of semi-automatic weapons—and a mural of Justin Bieber? Welcome to the dangerous world of Rio’s drug trade.
On Sunday, more than 2,000 heavily armed forces raided Complexo do Alemao, Rio de Janeiro’s most notorious shantytown, hoping to drive out the drug cartels that control the area’s 70,000 impoverished residents. The Guardian newspaper reports that amid the skirmishes—which left at least 50 people dead—drug lords disguised themselves as evangelical preachers and fled the neighborhood through sewers.
(See photos of Justin Bieber.)
Police began combing through the drug mob’s abandoned houses almost immediately and uncovered lavish accommodations replete with swimming pools, saunas and flat-screen televisions. In the home of “Pezao”—one of the country’s most-feared traffickers—they found several tons of drugs, one missile and a hand-painted mosaic of the Biebs. An adjacent wall also featured several posters of the Canadian pop star.
(Read “How the Internet Made Justin Bieber a Star.”)
Brazilian news outlet R7 published a photo of the mural here.
NewsFeed has not yet confirmed Pezao’s first words when forces stormed his home. Our money is on “Baby, baby, baby noo….“