Archive for March, 2011
Last Tuesday afternoon, Antonieta Simões welcomed us into her home. We talked and laughed as Antonieta’s daughter played on the floor nearby with her toy car and miniature chairs. Pastor Norival Sartório and Luciana de França Costa were also present and in on the cultural exchange. There was talk of samba and Carnaval, important lessons in Portuguese slang, and a little bit of Algerian dancing thanks to Meriem, one of our volunteers who came along. Antonieta and her daughter brought us homemade mango ice cream which we enjoyed as the sun started its descent and Rio de Janeiro cooled down More >
After the tragedy in the mountain region, many have spoken about the impact that illegal occupation of the slopes has had on the natural environment. As always, the blame has fallen on the weakest: the poor.
But it’s not just low income individuals who have disregarded laws and, for lack of other options, occupied these areas. With disrespect for the environmental legislation which states that mangroves ought to be preserved, the government has already dug up a significant protective strip around Lake Jacarepaguá, as the photos show. If the government had obeyed the law, any intervention in this area would have More >
On the 22nd of February, the injunction that, last December, had suspended the demolitions in Vila Harmonia, a community in the West Zone of Rio, was dropped. Two days later, demolition crews and police were back in the community, carrying out more evictions.
City Hall staffers told residents that the reason the injunction was cancelled was that the Public Defenders that represent the community presented nothing to the court official in charge, implying that it would be the Public Defenders’ inaction or lack of commitment that would have brought about their eviction. Public Defender Marília Farias was on the More >
On Friday, February 25, a group of concerned citizens gathered along Avenida Marechal Câmara, in front of the Headquarters of Rio de Janeiro’s Public Defenders to protest the increasing proximity of the Mayor Eduardo Paes’ administration to the autonomous Public Defenders office. They protested outside as the Mayor met inside with the state’s public defenders, reportedly to defend his plans for development in preparation for Rio’s mega events and to seek their cooperation.
Claiming that several communities are located in areas of environmental risk, the City has begun tearing down homes in poor neighborhoods in Rio’s West Zone from Barra da More >