Police arrest suspected militia members
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP):
Police in Brazil say they have arrested nine people suspected of belonging to a paramilitary militia group in one of Rio de Janeiro's most violent districts. Four of the suspects are police officers.
Inspector Alexandre Herdy says the nine were taken into custody yesterday morning.
He says the group is suspected of forcing residents of the Baixada Fluminense district to pay monthly fees for protection against drug gangs and for services like illegal cable television connections and the sale of cooking gas.
Groups of militias operating in many of Rio's slums are said to be made up of active and former police, firefighters, private security and off-duty prison guards.
Police have said that militias often torture and murder people who refuse to pay them what they demand.