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Police officers take part in an operation at the Jacarezinho favela on May 6, 2021. Photo: Mauro Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images)

A police operation against a group of alleged drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday ended in a shootout that left at least 25 people dead, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: It is the country's deadliest police raid since 2005, per Reuters.

The big picture: The shootout occurred in Jacarezinho, one of Rio's largest favelas, and targeted a group that had operated in the area for years, police said.

  • One of the fatalities was a police officer, the rest were suspected members of the targeted group, including several of its leaders, Reuters reported, citing police.
  • At least 10 suspected members were arrested.

Human rights activists condemned the raid, calling it a "massacre," per The Guardian.

  • "It's extermination — there's no other way to describe it," Pedro Paulo Santos Silva, a researcher at Rio's Center for Studies on Public Security and Citizenship told The Guardian. "This was a massacre."
  • Rio civil police detective Felipe Curi denied any executions took place, per AP. “There were no suspects killed. They were all traffickers or criminals who tried to take the lives of our police officers and there was no other alternative,” he said at a news conference.

Go deeper

The influence of U.S. Black activism in Latin America

People carry a banner reading "Black Lives Matter" as they demonstrate against racism in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Nelson Almeida/AFP via Getty Images

Black Lives Matter demonstrations popping up from Brazil to Mexico show how influential Black American social movements have been in Latin America — and how movements there also have shaped activism in the U.S.

The big picture: Social justice advocacy in the Americas has always motivated people across borders and languages, though the extent of that influence has often been ignored or overlooked.

The new cold war panic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The world has seen a power struggle between nuclear powers before, and has seen those countries inch closer to military conflict. But it's never before seen a cold war between two countries as interconnected — with each other and with the rest of the globe — as the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Escalating antagonism between the world's two superpowers is likely to hinder global cooperation to fight climate change, divert resources to costly arms and tech races, complicate diplomacy for U.S. allies, and victimize Chinese and American citizens living in each other's countries.

Parkland shooting victims' families settle suit with school district

A makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2020. Photo: Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Families and survivors of a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., reached a $25 million settlement in their lawsuit against the Broward County school district Monday, per the South Florida SunSentinel.

Why it matters: The deal was reached in the suit over the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the school district won a Florida Supreme Court ruling that could have capped damages at $300,000 in total without approval from the state legislature, AP notes.