Last Sunday November 10 saw the launch of the Youth Marked to Live campaign (Juventude Marcada Para Viver), as part of Brazil’s Black Awareness Month, to reduce the homicide rate amongst black youth. For a full afternoon and evening, Parque Madureira in Rio’s North Zone played host to a packed cultural program including photography, passinho dance battle, story-telling, debate and musical performances by rapper BNegão and Northeastern rhythm group Maracutaia. The launch event is just the start of an extensive campaign conceived and realized by students of Observatório de Favelas’ Popular School for Critical Communication (ESPOCC) to raise awareness of the systematic More >
Rio’s favela pacification policy–whereby specially trained Military Police occupy and then establish Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) to take territorial control over communities previously controlled by drug trafficking gangs or militia–has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months following the disappearance and torture of bricklayer Amarildo de Souza in Rocinha, cases of inappropriate use of force, and persistent reports of clashes between police and drug gangs in UPP neighborhoods. On Sunday, the Folha de São Paulo newspaper reported that the Rio State Security Secretariat was suspending the implementation of new units to try to “save” the program. The next day, on More >
On Thursday afternoon, November 7, 100 residents and supporters of Vila Autódromo gathered in the rain to protest outside City Hall, a response to the City’s latest tactic to undermine their resistance to removal. The week prior, on October 30, it appeared city officials had orchestrated a protest of approximately 20 residents who want to leave their homes in Vila Autódromo for apartments in Parque Carioca, the designated resettlement housing complex. Participants recounted that city employees “mobilized” several families who are considering resettlement housing and transported them on buses to City Hall.
Longtime Vila Autódromo resident and activist Maria da Penha described More >
On Friday November 8, the Hotel e Spa da Loucura (Hotel and Spa of Madness) at the Nise da Silveira psychiatric and rehabilitation center hosted AFROntamento, an event in celebration of Brazilian Black Awareness Month. The event was organized by CRUA – Coletiva Criativo da Rua (Creative Collective of the Street), a collection of artists, musicians, poets, thinkers, actors and community leaders whose goal is to integrate, explore and disseminate local culture. They came together to discuss issues facing Brazilians of African ancestry today and strengthening Black identity in the city. The event was also periodically attended by residents of the various More >
As the world’s biggest sporting mega-events draw closer, Brazilian authorities will be expected to ensure borders, ports of entry, and territory are secure from threats and clandestine activity. However, security blunders during the Pope’s visit, ongoing conflicts between police and demonstrators, and public threats from organized crime groups promising a ‘World Cup of terror’ pull Brazil’s suitability to host international events into question.
While security threats to international visitors are worrisome, fundamental concerns about the social fabric of Brazil are masked by these worries, with longer term concerns at the core. One of the main problems facing Brazilian citizens is the everyday use More >