Paolo Roberto Ferreira Mezes, known by all as Barrão, moved to Vila Autódromo sixteen years ago. After learning to fish and dedicating himself to the craft, he brought his wife and two young children to the peaceful, lakeside favela in Rio’s West Zone to turn the craft into a living. He decided to swap his home in Vila Valqueire for his brother’s abandoned waterfront property in Vila Autódromo. That way, Barrão was able to fish from his own backyard. In the years following the move, Barrão and his wife welcomed two more children, and they began fostering a loyal client base More >
“What is this ‘pacification’ that is coming?” challenged favela residents last Saturday May 11th at a debate on public security in Maré. For weeks, the group of communities has been undergoing daily raids by the BOPE (Special Operations Police Battalion) in a government effort to prepare the area for the installation of the Police Pacifying Units (UPPs). The process includes illegal searches of homes without individual warrants and operations involving helicopters and armored tanks.
“The discourse from the state and from the commercial media [surrounding pacification] is a big lie,” explained Gizele Martins, coordinator and journalist at Maré’s 13-year-old community newspaper O Cidadão. More >
For the original in Portuguese by Cecília Oliveira on Arma Branca click here.
Maré, a group of favelas situated between the Avenida Brasil and Linha Vermelha, two main highways in Rio’s North Zone, has been the target of six police operations in the past month. Residents are experiencing what they call “Pre-UPP Syndrome”, or TPP (Portuguese acronym).
Last Thursday May 2nd, residents of the favelas Parque União and Nova Holanda faced yet another operation, More >
“Here we are, abandoned in the sewage!” two Manguinhos residents exclaimed, pointing to the flooded, mosquito-ridden streets encircling their homes that had been that way for over a year. They recounted that government programs such as the federal Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) and PAC II had promised infrastructure improvements to the community, but none of them had addressed the urgent sewage situation. “I have six children (including a newborn). Where I am going to go?” one woman explained, exasperated.
These complaints were voiced More >
Since winning the bids for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the City of Rio de Janeiro has embarked on a colossal campaign to enhance its international image. However, this has come with a high price tag for those living in Rio’s favelas, particularly their most vulnerable residents who find themselves being forcefully removed from their homes More >