At least 45 people were killed between Friday and Wednesday in police raids carried out in the Brazilian states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and northeastern Bahia by local forces.
The ongoing Operation Shield in the São Paulo's Baixada Santista region accounted for 16 of the deaths, with officers having reported the arrests of 58 people as well as the seizure of 400 kilos of narcotics and 18 weapons so far.
Brazil is no stranger to extra-judicial police killings, having averaged a daily toll of 17 deaths last year. But these latest massacres are worrisome because they also suggest that moderate conservatives such as São Paulo's Governor Tarcísio De Freitas are turning a blind eye to police misconduct to enchant far-right, radical Bolsonaro supporters in the run up to the 2026 presidential elections.
While this tally may indeed cause alarm over police actions among those who do not habitually follow news on Brazil, it's crucial to stress that confrontations between criminals and police only take place when wrongdoers opt not to turn themselves in to law enforcement. Police officers must be commended for their efforts to tackle crime, especially as they put their lives at risk on a daily basis.