AP

Brazilian police arrest dozens selling crack in Sao Paulo

May 11, 2022, 1:20 AM | Updated: 1:25 pm

A man who was living in a drug market in Princesa Isabel square, crosses a street after the market ...

A man who was living in a drug market in Princesa Isabel square, crosses a street after the market was raided by police in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Police arrested dozens of drug peddlers selling crack at the market in an early morning operation aimed at closing down illegal drug sales in the area as city workers cleared away trash and tents from the settlement. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

(AP Photo/Andre Penner)


              City workers clear away trash and tents set up by homeless people at a drug market in Princesa Isabel square, after it was raided by police in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Police arrested dozens of drug peddlers selling crack at the market in an early morning operation aimed at closing down illegal drug sales in the area. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              City workers clear away trash and tents set up by homeless people and drug traffickers at a drug market in Princesa Isabel square, after it was raided by police in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Police arrested dozens of drug peddlers selling crack at the market in an early morning operation aimed at closing down illegal drug sales in the area. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              A woman who was living in a drug market in Princesa Isabel square, kneels in prayer on a sidewalk after the market was raided by police in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Police arrested dozens of drug peddlers selling crack at the market in an early morning operation aimed at closing down illegal drug sales in the area as city workers cleared away trash and tents from the settlement. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              Women who were living in a drug market in Princesa Isabel square, push belongings and a dog in a shopping cart, after the market was raided by police in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Police arrested dozens of drug peddlers selling crack at the market in an early morning operation aimed at closing down illegal drug sales in the area as city workers cleared away trash and tents from the settlement. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              People who were living in a drug market in Princesa Isabel square, gather on sidewalk after the market was raided by police in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Police arrested dozens of drug peddlers selling crack at the market in an early morning operation aimed at closing down illegal drug sales in the area as city workers cleared away trash and tents from the settlement. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              A waster picker pulls a cart of recyclable items to sell as people who were living in a drug market in Princesa Isabel square, gather on sidewalk after the market was raided by police in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Police arrested dozens of drug peddlers selling crack at the market in an early morning operation aimed at closing down illegal drug sales in the area as city workers cleared away trash and tents from the settlement. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              A man who was living in a drug market in Princesa Isabel square, crosses a street wearing a blanket after the market was raided by police in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Police arrested dozens of drug peddlers selling crack at the market in an early morning operation aimed at closing down illegal drug sales in the area as city workers cleared away trash and tents from the settlement. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              A man who was living in a drug market in Princesa Isabel square, crosses a street after the market was raided by police in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Police arrested dozens of drug peddlers selling crack at the market in an early morning operation aimed at closing down illegal drug sales in the area as city workers cleared away trash and tents from the settlement. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Hundreds of police officers raided a plaza in Sao Paulo on Wednesday, arresting dozens of people selling crack and cocaine and destroying addicts’ tents in Brazil’s largest city.

A total 650 agents participated in the raid, and the arrest and search warrants were a product of intelligence work and investigation, police said in a statement.

Helicopter footage from local television station Record showed addicts leaving the square after the raid.

The Princesa Isabel square is close to a region nicknamed “Crackland” where hundreds of addicts gather every day to buy drugs. Some come from cities in Sao Paulo state’s countryside and end up living there permanently.

Last month, Sao Paulo’s City Hall installed barricades around the square to prevent addicts from using it. The barricades were soon removed, and the square once again filled with tents.

Raids and similar actions by police in recent years have only sent addicts to other parts of Sao Paulo’s city center.

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Brazilian police arrest dozens selling crack in Sao Paulo