SAO PAULO (AP) — Hundreds of police officers raided a plaza in Sao Paulo on Wednesday, arresting dozens of people selling crack and cocaine and destroying addicts’ tents in Brazil’s largest city.
A total 650 agents participated in the raid, and the arrest and search warrants were a product of intelligence work and investigation, police said in a statement.
Helicopter footage from local television station Record showed addicts leaving the square after the raid.
The Princesa Isabel square is close to a region nicknamed “Crackland” where hundreds of addicts gather every day to buy drugs. Some come from cities in Sao Paulo state’s countryside and end up living there permanently.
Last month, Sao Paulo’s City Hall installed barricades around the square to prevent addicts from using it. The barricades were soon removed, and the square once again filled with tents.
Raids and similar actions by police in recent years have only sent addicts to other parts of Sao Paulo’s city center.