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)
Brutal police crackdown on protesters against a bus fare rise in São Paulo and Rio, as well as other cities. [more inside]
Tempero Brasileiro (mp3) is a collection of rare Brazilian tracks originally issued on 7″ vinyl. Compiled by Edson Carvalho, one of the top São Paulo crate diggers. [more inside]
Julian spent 1 year in São Paulo, this is what he saw. [SLVimeo]
São Paulo, Brazil. With a population upwards of 11 million people and a population density of more than 7,000 people per square kilometre, it is a pretty crowded place. But on July 2, 2010 during the second half of the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup quarterfinal, the streets were completely deserted.
The city of Sao Paulo passed an ordinance last year banning outdoor advertising; photographer Tony de Marco has been documenting the skeletal remains of the advertising infrastructure throughout the city; the impact looks like the aftermath of a new type of atomic weapon that targets marketing but leaves buildings & people unscathed.
The Roofless realm. Prestes Maia, is a colossal abandoned clothes factory that towers over central Sao Paulo: "At first glance Prestes Maia, which sem-teto members occupied in 2002, resembles a chaotic, multi-storey shantytown; cardboard spews out of its cracked windows, graffiti litter its walls and children rattle through its wide corridors on bicycles. But the community is meticulously organised." It was first occupied as part of the Movimiento dos Sem Teto, an organized movement of homeless families and workers and now houses over 468 families. But, now, an injunction has been issued for the repossession of the building. Everyone must leave by February 15th but there is no plan and the authorities fear violence will erupt. There's a Flickr community.
Get Chipped! A Brazilian legislator wants to become the first politician to be implanted with a controversial microchip that would contain his personal information. Hmmm, would the real Kevin Warwick please stand up.