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Clashes in Brazil over boy's death in shantytown

By Amy R. Connolly

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 4 (UPI) -- Protests, some violent, erupted in a Rio de Janeiro slum after a 10-year-old boy was allegedly shot and killed by police during a shootout with drug traffickers.

Hundreds of Complexo Alemao residents flooded the streets in an area known for poverty, crime and violence following the shooting death of Eduardo de Jesus Ferreira. Brazilian police used tear gas and pepper spray to hold back demonstrators.

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Police said the boy was shot by a criminal group during an anti-gang operation. The boy's mother, Terezinha Maria de Jesus, said she saw a police officer shoot her son as he was standing in the doorway of their home.

"This time there was no shootout. The only shot that I heard was what killed my son," the boy's mother told O Globo.

Eduardo was the fourth person killed in escalating violence in the area. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Rio's governor, Luiz Fernando Pezão, said an investigation into the matter is ongoing.

During the protests, one person carried a sign reading: "A son lost his mother, a mother lost her son. That's how we are surviving in the complex."

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Orani João Tempesta, the Catholic archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, spoke out against the growing violence, saying "We don't deserve this insecurity."

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