Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil Rocinha drug lord 'Nem' jailed for 12 years

Antonio Francisco Bonfim Lopes escorted by police after his arrest in November 2011
Image caption Police found Antonio Francisco Bonfim Lopes hiding in the boot of his car

One of Brazil's most wanted drug traffickers has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Antonio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, also known as Nem, headed a drug gang in Rio de Janeiro's Rocinha neighbourhood.

Police arrested Lopes as part of their "pacification programme", an attempt to wrest control of poor parts of the city from criminal gangs.

They found Nem in November 2011. He was hiding in a car driving out of Rocinha as hundreds of officers moved in.

His driver tried to prevent the car from being searched by claiming diplomatic immunity. He said he was the honorary consul of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Brazil has been trying to clean up its most dangerous regions ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Special operation forces have so far moved into more than 20 neighbourhoods and established a permanent police presence there.

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