Posts tagged UPP Social
Reflections After a Year of Protest: Rio de Janeiro as ‘Post-Third World City’ or ‘City of Exception’?
After a year of protest it’s time to re-examine what kind of Rio de Janeiro is emerging from the ‘city project.’
The widely (though not universally) held belief that Brazil had entered a new era of economic stability and social progress was severely dented in June of this year when enormous protests erupted across the country. Although less commented on in the mainstream national and international media, another dominant consensus was also thrown into question by the unrest: the idea that Rio de Janeiro was following a path towards improved urban governance and enhanced integration and social justice. In the wake of More >
For the original by Lívia de Cássia Godoi Moraes in Portuguese in Brasil de Fato click here.
On the Rio de Janeiro state’s official website of the Pacifying Police Units (UPPs),the justification for their creation is “for security, citizenship, and social inclusion purposes.” The UPP program (which turned 5 last month) encompasses partnerships among the municipal, state, and federal governments, as well as different civil society actors, including private businesses. According to the website, “the government’s priority is the preservation of residents’ lives and liberties.”
If hills could speak, Morro do Tuiuti (Tuiuti Hill) would have a lot to say. It has borne witness to many of Rio de Janeiro’s key physical and social transformations over more than two hundred years.
A lost history
When the Portuguese royal family–in flight from Napoleon’s invading army–docked in Rio in 1808 the city was transformed, almost overnight, from sleepy colonial backwater into imperial metropolis. The new seat of power became the royal Palácio de São Cristóvão, in the Quinta da Boa Vista, a stone’s throw from Morro do Tuiuti. Popularly known as the ‘Versailles of the Tropics,’ the palace originally More >
“I just want to be happy, walk with tranquility in the favela where I was born. And be proud and have the awareness that a poor person has his place… My dear authorities, I don’t know what to do anymore. With so much violence I am afraid to live. Because I live in the favela I am disrespected. Sadness and joy walk hand-in-hand… While the rich live in a beautiful house, the poor are humiliated and demoralized in the favela… All I ask of the authorities is a bit more competence.”
(Rap da Felicidade by Cidinho)
These lyrics come from a song named ‘Rap More >
“In theory it sounded like one of the most innovative models for including citizens in the democratic decision making process,” one Federal University of Rio doctoral candidate told me. Her research focuses on participatory processes in the favelas pacified under the Pacifying Police Units (UPP). She continued: “But spending a year closely following meetings between residents and the government showed me that it was just that: participatory only in theory.”
Democracies require some degree of public involvement. Citizen participation is a complicated concept, because it is not a well-defined ‘thing’ but rather a scale of different degrees of inclusion of More >