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UN Accuses Brazilian Police of Murder To 'Clean Up' Rio For Olympics

Grim accusations from a United Nations probe that Brazilian police use extrajudicial murder to clear out youth gangs in Rio de Janeiro ahead of next year's Olympics.

RIO DE JANEIRO — A new report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has denounced the Brazilian police for "killing children" in an attempt to "clean up" Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, according to an exclusive report from the Brazilian daily O Estado de S. Paulo.

The committee calls attention to what it deems "general impunity" in the country in the face of "extrajudicial killings of children" by the federal police. Brazil has one of the world's highest youth homicide rates, and the passage of a recent law reducing the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16 has increased youth incarceration as well.

O Estado writes that although the state of Rio de Janeiro saw the second-largest reduction in Brazil in its youth homicide rate between 2000 and 2013, the report criticizes various branches of the police for killing youths — primarily Afro-Brazilians — in a previous attempt to improve the city's image prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The media has reported in the past that death squads have been employed in turf wars between the police and organized crime gangs in Brazilian cities, with adolescents the primary victims of this violence.

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