MYSTERY surrounds the reason for the shooting of a 67-year-old Spanish woman by a military policeman in a favela in Rio de Janeiro.
Maria Esperanza Jiménez Ruiz was travelling on a guided tour of Rio’s largest favela, Rocinha, with her brother and his wife when a shot rang out and a bullet struck her in the back.
Maria was taken to hospital by emergency services but was declared dead on arrival.
Favelas are considered by many as dangerous slum areas which hide major drug dealers who often fight with the police, but also attract the curious who want to see the lives that many poorer people have made for themselves.
First reports from the authorities suggest that the car in which they were travelling did not stop at a police check point which is the reason for the officer opening fire but it appears that the driver and passengers dispute this and say that there was no order to stop.
The Spanish Embassy to Brazil and the local Rio consulate are involved in trying to establish exactly what happened and Brazilian authorities have confirmed that there will be an internal enquiry.