Brazil – Press release from Salesian Province of Belo Horizonte following "Exceptis" police operation

10 May 2021

(ANS - Belo Horizonte) - On the morning of Thursday 6 May the Brazilian Civil Police conducted a vast operation, called "Exceptis" - with 200 agents, armored vehicles, and two helicopters - inside the Jacarezinho favela, north of Rio de Janiero. At the end of the operation, criticized by the UN because "it confirms the tendency to the excessive use of force by police officers", there were 28 dead in the streets. The Salesians of the Belo Horizonte Province shared their position on the issue in an official statement, which we feature below.

Since 1950 the Salesians of Don Bosco have been present in the district of Jacarezinho, in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro/RJ. We arrived in that community moved by the apostolic-missionary ardor of the Salesian Fr Nelson Carlos Del Mônaco (1911-1999) who, after visiting Jacarezinho in 1955, never left.

As a true heir of Saint John Bosco, founder of the Salesian Family, Father Nelson courageously embarked on the Salesian Educational-Evangelizing Project, trying to satisfy and support the needs of the community. In this sense, with the support of various people, he inaugurated an oratory, a school, and a parish. And we still continue this beautiful work of his, always aiming at the fulfillment of the Salesian mission: “To be signs and bearers of God's love for the young, especially the poorest, through evangelization, education and social assistance, contributing to the construction of a just and fraternal society.”

Yesterday (last Thursday, Ed.'s note), May 6, 2021, we were surprised by the Exceptis operation carried out in the community of Jacarezinho, which, according to information from the media, caused 28 deaths. In light of this, we, the Salesians of Don Bosco of the St John Bosco Province (Brazil-Belo Horizonte), in solidarity with the Community of Jacarezinho, of which we too are part, strengthen our bonds of friendship and solidarity, making ours the words of the Cardinal Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Orani João Tempesta: "We pray for the dead, we too will continue our religious - social - educational presence there, trying to bring people to an encounter with God and with a more just and humane world. We deeply regret this moment in the history of this city which is classified as 'the deadliest action in the history of Rio de Janeiro' and we join all those who suffer: family, friends, and acquaintances and the whole community of Jacarezinho who are going through this moment.”

May Jesus, the Prince of Peace, continually guide us in the search for peace and justice and may Mary Help of Christians, whose image is present on the top of the church erected in the district of Jacarezinho, look maternally on all her children who cry out and sigh for her intercession.

Province of St John Bosco

Salesians of Don Bosco


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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