While arriving up top of Vidigal–one of Rio’s most scenic South Zone favelas–by moto-taxi on Saturday, I couldn’t help but notice the high concentration of Pacifying Police Unit (UPP) officers with each turn of the moto. This new physical presence is a marked difference to the Vidigal I visited last month. Famously located above the Sheraton at the end of Leblon overlooking the ocean, Vidigal was occupied by the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) the morning of Sunday, November 13th, along with Rocinha and Chácara do Céu favelas. The police occupation, dubbed the “Shock of Peace Operation,” marked the 19th UPP installation in Rio More >
Original article in Portuguese featured here.
November 23, 2011–According to preliminary testimony from residents of the community, a 22-year-old man was shot this morning in Complexo da Maré. Dozens of residents protesting where the incident occurred have argued that the man had no connection with the actions undertaken by the Civil Police. According to the newspaper O Dia, the man was identified as Altair Bento de Olivera, 46 years old, shot dead in front of his home on Ari Leão Street.
“According to Altair’s brother, Aloysius Oliveira, he was returning home after having taken his wife to the bus top. “My brother More >
Rapid change is coming to Rocinha following police occupation of Brazil’s largest favela last Sunday. This Wednesday evening, November 16th, residents filled a makeshift auditorium at the community samba school Acadêmicos da Rocinha on Rua 1 to be addressed by the Special Operations Batalion (BOPE) Coronel René Alonso. Alonso was there to officially inform them of some of the ways in which the recent power shift would affect their daily lives.
Coronel Alonso began by informing the audience of some of the new rules by which they are expected to abide. Drugs and guns are illegal, which should be obvious but was stated More >
I was recently asked to write an essay to start off a debate about the importance of transparency, and its relationship to participation, in Rio de Janeiro, for the new civil society site Meu Rio. The debate was launched November 17th. Here is my full response. — Theresa Williamson
Everything we do should start with the question: Why? What is my objective? So that from that starting point we can focus on the appropriate means to reach our goal. In the case of what type of society we want for ourselves and our children, I presume that our objective is to achieve a More >
With less than 24 hours before the announced invasion and occupation of Rocinha by a combination of police and military forces, I made the mototaxi ride up the hill to visit the family of Seu José, whose house I stayed at various times in 2007, 2008, and 2009. A cloud settled in over the course of the afternoon, a kind of pathetic fallacy for the tempest brewing in the machinations of the political-military complex, to a backdrop of real estate values and international media attention.