Brazil: Dozens of police officers arrested, accused of taking bribes
updated 10:31 AM EST, Wed December 5, 2012
- NEW: 61 officers are arrested, accused of receiving bribes to turn a blind eye to crime
- NEW: Investigators are still searching for two other officers suspected of involvement
- Authorities also arrest 11 suspected drug traffickers, state media reports
- The arrests occur in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state
(CNN) -- Brazilian authorities arrested dozens of police officers on Tuesday, accusing them of taking bribes from drug traffickers.
The 61 officers were paid to turn a blind eye to criminal activity in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state, state public safety officials said. Investigators were still searching for two other officers suspected of involvement.
An investigation revealed that the officers had received payments of 2,500 reals (about $1,200) every time they patrolled certain communities, the state-run Agencia Brasil said, citing authorities.
Tuesday's arrests, dubbed "Operation Purification," come as authorities work to increase security in Rio de Janeiro and stamp out drug gangs before the 2014 World Cup and the Olympic Games two years later.
In October, police said they seized automatic weapons, guns and grenades and arrested dozens of people in a series of Rio de Janeiro slum raids. They announced they were going into the communities days in advance.
Police said they take that approach to avoid major violence, but critics have said it simply gives criminals a chance to escape.
In Tuesday's operation, authorities said they also arrested 11 drug-trafficking suspects.
Brazil gang's slaughter of police sparks fightback
CNN's Paulo Nogueira and Gabriela Matute Urdaneta contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.