Rio de Janeiro police fatally shoot Spanish tourist on favela tour

By Ray Downs  |  Oct. 23, 2017 at 10:27 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter

Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Police in Rio de Janeiro shot dead a Spanish tourist who was on tour of one of the city's largest favelas, officials said Monday.

Maria Esperanza Jimenez Ruiz, 67, was riding through the neighborhood of Rocinha with other tourists in a car that allegedly broke through a police barricade when police fired, according to local reports.

"Around 10.30 a Fiat Fremont broke a police roadblock," police said in a statement. "Officers reacted, hitting the vehicle. Upon approaching it, it was discovered that the vehicle was carrying tourists. A Spanish woman was injured and taken to the Miguel Couto hospital but did not survive."

But the driver, an Italian living in Brazil, said he didn't see any barricade or hear an order to stop.

The shooting is under investigation and the officer who fired has been detained, reported BBC.

According to The Guardian, a possible recording of the shooting circulating on WhatsApp shows police taking cover from the rain when the vehicle drives by. Police appear to order the vehicle to stop but do not enter the roadway. They then open fire.

"The woman must not have even heard," an unidentified man is heard saying in the recording.

Tensions in Rocinha have been higher than normal in recent weeks. Last month, the Brazilian army entered the community after a week of clashes between local police and gangs.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories