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File: A favela in Maracana, Brazil. PA Archive/PA Images
Rio de Janeiro

British tourist shot after her family accidentally drove into Brazilian favela

She was hospitalised due to her injuries

A BRITISH TOURIST was shot and wounded after accidentally driving with her husband and three children into a favela controlled by criminals in a usually idyllic holiday spot near Rio de Janeiro, police said.

British media have named the woman as Eloise Dixon.

The family was holidaying in the seaside resort of Angra dos Reis when they took a wrong turn yesterday while looking for a place to buy water, and entered the slum.

Inside the favela, called Agua Santa, “they were confronted by criminals who ordered them to get out and the car was hit by shots from a firearm,” local police chief Bruno Gilaberte said.

Dixon underwent surgery in the Angra dos Reis hospital and “is in stable, good condition,” he said.

According to Brazilian media reports, the woman was due to be transferred to a Rio hospital today.

“The bullet went through the whole abdomen but by luck didn’t hit major arteries or important organs. She was really lucky,” local hospital director Rodrigo Mucheli said on Globo television.

Lucky escape

Television footage of the damaged rental car showed how close an escape the British visitors had: one bullet hit a front tyre, another the front passenger door and a third the headrest where the victim was sitting.

The Rio area is one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations but many favelas — largely unregulated communities of working class Brazilians — are effectively no-go areas for outsiders and even for police.

Vinicius Barbosa, the deputy chief executive of the Angra dos Reis government, condemned the authorities’ lack of control over high-crime areas “where you can’t go in, where the media can’t go in, where services can’t go in — this is intolerable”.

Rio de Janeiro has become so violent this year in the aftermath of the 2016 Olympic Games that the federal government sent thousands of army troops in July to support police.

- © AFP, 2017

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