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)
Complexo da Maré is one of the oldest favelas in Rio, and a new short documentary, Te Vejo Mare, shows how, despite the headlines and violence, a community and culture manages to thrive there. As featured on today's Guardian website: Welcome to Complexo da Maré (10:16), The Samba Is Infinite (10:22), Fighting for Peace (11:00)
Favela Faces. The stories of four people in Rio's favelas.
Brazil Wants to Build a Wall Social and economic problems out of control? No problem. Brazil plans to literally build a 10 foot wall to separate the haves from the have nots.