More than 250 families are reported to have been left homeless after demolitions at the Bairro 13 occupation in Santo Cristo in of Rio de Janeiro. Residents report that of approximately 500 families who were removed from the region, only around 110 have been placed into the Minha Casa, Minha Vida (MCMV) program, either having received a house or social rent to hold their place in the program, so far. In breach of the law, residents were not given advanced warning when evictions began on February 26. Those who weren’t placed into the MCMV program were simply given unsigned, unofficial photocopies of documents More >
This is Part 2 in a four part series on the History of Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police. Click for Part 1.
Bandido favelado não se varre com vassoura se varre com granada com fuzil, metralhadora
(Favela criminal you don’t sweep them away with a broom you sweep them away with grenades with rifles, machine guns)
As we have seen, the mandate of the Brazilian police force throughout its history has been heavily based on colonial notions of citizenship. Those ‘with’ tend to be seen as honest, hardworking citizens, whilst those ‘without’ are viewed as criminals, or potential criminals. In More >
In 1978 favela residents, liberation theologians and activists mobilized to successfully defend Vidigal against eviction attempts. Those protesting removal used ingenious methods of resistance. These included providing daily coffees to placate COMLURB (Rio’s waste collection company) workers, those employed to evict the protesters, recognizing that they, too, were poor and hungry. These garis (street sweepers) soon made it clear to the government that they wouldn’t remove any of the belongings of residents who wished to stay. Brazilianist Bryan McCann, author of the new book Hard Times in the Marvelous City: From Dictatorship to Democracy in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro, describes the efforts as More >
Standing in the door to her home in the heart of Indiana, a small low-lying favela at the foot of Morro do Borel in Tijuca, North Zone, 82 year old Dona Maria Alves dos Santos explains that the threat of eviction is nothing new to her. She says, “Ever since I came here they’ve said [the community] is going to be removed, but it’s never happened.” A resident of Indiana since the community’s beginnings 50 years ago, she tells of how she expanded her neatly kept house over the years and raised her eight children and grandchildren in the favela. “I More >
Land in Recreio was not utilized after evictions took place there in 2011 to make way for construction of the Transoeste BRT line.
The experience of families who have been resettled in the housing estates of the Minha Casa Minha Vida (federal housing) program is not encouraging for residents who may face the same fate. The most common challenges concern the distance between home and work, transportation quality, access to public services, and the quality of the new apartments.
“The BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) forces us to summon the courage to confront people we don’t know. More >