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Hundreds of residents from Rio de Janeiro's ultra-violent favelas descended on the posh Copacabana beach area Sunday to plead for an end to lethal shootouts between drug traffickers and police.Against a backdrop of weekly, even daily shootings of innocent people in military-style police operations, the demonstrators said Rio's rich and powerful should stop looking away.Favelas -- poor, mostly unregulated shanty towns dotted around the iconic Brazilian city -- are home to almost a quarter of Rio's population.More than 80 police officers have died this year in Rio de Janeiro state, in what sometimes can feel like an undeclared war.The head of the Alemao favelas association, Marcos Valerio Alves, 49, said he hoped the unusual appearance of hundreds of favela dwellers in Copacabana would wake people up.
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