Over the last year and a half, I have been visiting São Paulo and, especially, Rio de Janeiro, observing the process of “pacification,” by which the government attempts to peacefully enter and reestablish state control over the most violent enclaves of the city, those dominated by drug gangs called traficantes, or by syndicates of corrupt police called militias. Until 2008, when the pacification program started, the traficantes controlled roughly half of the favelas, and the militias the other half. Both still hold power in most favelas. The ultimate aim of the state government of Rio’s plan, called the Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP), or Police Pacification Unit, is to drive both of these groups out and replace them by the state. (SLNYRB)
Prisoners in Brazil's prisons formed their own rules for governance, setting up a system much more effective than the government.
The media portrayed it as a fight between good cops and evil drug dealers. According to that point of view...
Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
The Boston Globe displays some pretty spectacular pictures of the drug war in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There's not a whole ton of context available within the article, but the pictures speak for themselves.
US drug patients vs. the world in AIDS crisis. Brazil is making generic AIDS medicine based upon existing drugs created (and of course patented) by US drug companies. the catch? they are giving the drugs away FOR FREE. US Drug companies want their money. the UN agreed ,52 in favor and 1 not in favor, for brazil's strategy for dealing with the AIDS crisis. guess who opposed.