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BRAZIL-VIOLENCE/SHOOTING
RTX7SHI7
August 29, 2020
For Ricardo Moraes, a veteran photographer who for 11 years has documented for Reuters life in Rio de...
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
A Picture and its Story: The despair of a Rio widow, in a city struggling with violence
For Ricardo Moraes, a veteran photographer who for 11 years has documented for Reuters life in Rio de Janeiro's often dangerous cinderblock slums known as "favelas", work began at about 6 a.m. on Thursday, when he heard a radio report of a hostage situation in Sao Carlos, a sprawling tangle of hillside homes near the city center. The images he would capture - a young woman, kneeling over her husband's body, overcome with grief and surrounded by heavily armed police - ultimately would appear on the front pages of Brazil's two largest newspapers. They resonated in a city fed up with violence, where residents say shootouts among aggressive criminal gangs and a notoriously deadly police force are common. The incident culminating in the photographs began when a man who police later identified as a drug trafficker took a family of three hostage in an apartment building. He surrendered but hours later police exchanged gunfire with other suspects near the lobby, and the fighting quickly spilled into the surrounding area. Then another family was taken hostage in a house nearby, by another heavily armed group. As negotiations with police ensued, female relatives of the drug gang gathered nearby. Hours later, the hostage-takers surrendered and exited the second building. But one of them was missing. Behind the police, the women edged closer to the home. Sprawled on a staircase was a dead body. That is when the subject of Moraes' photograph broke into tears. Surrounded by police dressed in military-style gear, the images show the young woman collapsing in despair as she recognizes the body. Another woman comforts her. When Moraes visited the local morgue on Friday morning, he saw the woman again, distraught and surrounded by family. She agreed to talk. In a brief interview, the woman, who identified herself only as Juliana, said she was the wife of the slain man, who she named as Davi Barboza. She said she was four months pregnant with his child. She acknowledged he was a crimi
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