RIO DE JANEIRO — The Brazilian Amazon’s biggest city on Monday suspended classes and public transport amid a wave of vandalism and destruction in the wake of an alleged drug kingpin’s killing by police.
Dozens of buses, public buildings, banks and personal vehicles in Manaus were targeted by a drug trafficking organization as retribution for the killing during a shooting with police, according to the Amazonas state’s government. Twenty-one vehicles were burned, and Gov. Wilson Lima on Sunday requested deployment of the national guard.
Amazonas state’s security secretary Louismar Bonates said Monday that the attacks were ordered from prison in response to the death of the trafficker Erick Batista Costa, known as “Dadinho.” The trafficker was killed by the police during a confrontation on Saturday night, in an operation in the Redenção neighborhood, west of Manaus, according to local authorities.
In broad daylight on Sunday, assailants threw gasoline bombs at bus stations and banks, and also burned tires, according to images shown on television. Fearing attacks, shopkeepers shut their stores. There weren’t any reports of injuries.
So far, 29 people suspected of carrying out the attacks have been arrested, according to Amazonas state’s security secretariat. Of them, 27 were directly involved and the other two involved in logistical planning of the attacks, the secretariat said.
“We have greatly reinforced patrols,” Bonates said, adding that police have set up checkpoints across the capital and the state. “People can come out of their homes and move about freely. The police are in the streets to guarantee safety.”
Attacks were centered in Manaus, but also erupted in the municipalities of Parintins and Careiro Castanho.