SAO PAULO – Police launched a large operation on Sunday targeting a section of Sao Paulo known as “Cracolandia” that is home to the biggest number of drug users in Brazil’s largest city, arresting at least 30 people, officials said.
Some 500 officers entered the downtown Sao Paulo area in the early morning hours, targeting crack cocaine dealers and users.
Police had orders to serve 70 arrest warrants and several search warrants at sites used to sell drugs.
Cracolandia is an open-air market where illegal drugs are sold to users, who take advantage of the minimal police presence in the area to make purchases.
The Sao Paulo city and state governments announced plans recently to fight drug trafficking following clashes between police and drug users.
Sao Paulo Mayor Joao Doria has vowed to shut down Cracolandia before his term ends in 2020 and redevelop the area.