"Yes, it was a dump. But people are desperate to have a home anywhere."
April 10, 2010 10:58 AM   Subscribe

posted by the_royal_we at 11:11 AM on April 10, 2010

The destruction was compounded because the slum is largely built atop an old garbage dump, making it especially unstable and vulnerable to the heavy rains, said Agostinho Guerreiro, president of Rio's main association of engineers and architects.
posted by Rat Spatula at 11:40 AM on April 10, 2010

posted by Ruki at 1:06 PM on April 10, 2010

posted by jewzilla at 1:13 PM on April 10, 2010

Christ, today is just not a good day for humanity, is it?
posted by bettafish at 1:24 PM on April 10, 2010

posted by ambrosia at 1:25 PM on April 10, 2010

Christ, today is just not a good day for humanity, is it?

inherent irony

posted by infini at 1:45 PM on April 10, 2010

"When you have no money, you have no choice"

posted by Edward L at 2:31 PM on April 10, 2010


Thanks for the post.
posted by languagehat at 2:43 PM on April 10, 2010

posted by Wuggie Norple at 4:17 PM on April 10, 2010

In 1989, I was sent to Rio de Janerio by the American subsidiary of a German company I was working for at the time, to see how Brazilian apparel manufacturers could expect to get the help of German and U.S. Exim banks, to raise letters of credit through Brazilian banking channels, for import to Brazil, of German made apparel production machinery, with U.S. produced tooling sets. After several weeks of meetings with Brazilian apparel manufacturers, senior lending officers of dozens of Brazilian banks, and the cold-eyed representatives of various "private Brazilian investor groups," as well as a number of trips from Rio to Sao Paulo and Brazilia to discuss matter with various government agencies and international development interests, and over a thousand page of telexes between the U.S., Germany, and various banks around the world, I was out walking on the beach at Ipanema very early one Sunday morning, about 5:30 a.m., trying to clear my head, and come to some concrete recommendations to make to my principals, lest I be exiled in Brazil on this mission, forever.

And then, about 50 yards ahead of me, I saw beach sand kick up, at even spacing, about 3 meters apart, in 10 or 11 little spurts, as the first red rays of daybreak reached the beach. And just as the "WTF????" thought was fully forming in my brain, I heard the tiny echoing reports of a sub-machine gun, to my left, no louder than bird farts, but notable for their regular spacing, perfectly symmetrical to the pattern of sand just kicked up in front of me, and then, I instantly understood some maniac in a favela above me, was shooting at the sunrise...

I hit the sand, and crawled west, hoping to live. And my mind was instantly clear of banking problems, all the rest of that Sunday. I wish the poor people whose lives in those favelas have been further complicated all the best, and I hope that those landslides got that crazy bastard who, probably just because he was feeling good, unleashed those 10 or 12 shots to the east, that morning...
posted by paulsc at 4:52 PM on April 10, 2010 [3 favorites]

posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:51 PM on April 10, 2010

Probably not your guy.

Your guy could have been in Favela Morro de Cantagalo or Favela Pavao Pavaozinho. If he had a Brazilian submachine gun, it was probably firing 9x19 Parabellums. If he was on your left, he was probably one or two thousand feet away, and you were mostly south of him. The average bullet speed was still transonic when they reached the sand. They would only have fallen about 35 feet below the straight line projected from the barrel.

Maybe he was accidentally pointing it right at you when he pulled the trigger. The error of 150 feet, over a distance of 2000 feet is a vanishingly small angle.

Or maybe not.
posted by the Real Dan at 12:41 AM on April 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

Poor people always have it hard.

posted by ersatz at 7:32 AM on April 11, 2010

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