Stuck in Mistakes: Rather than Pursue Reform, They Blame Favelas and Prisons

'Favela residents are not at fault!'

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The original text was published by Raull Santiago on his Facebook page. Raull is a media-activist from Complexo do Alemão and contributes to Coletivo Papo Reto.


The news anchor William Waack opens the show with a speech that puts the favela, Complexo do Alemão, in a negative light, which has been very common in different newspapers, since the rebellions began in the national prison system. In the case of the news program, Jornal da Globo, the anchor makes a link between the revolts in the prisons and the federal government’s release of the federal armed forces to intervene in the prisons, on the one hand, with the failure of the UPP (Pacifying Police Unit) in Complexo do Alemão, on the other.

The announcer declared: “…Releasing the armed forces to intervene, what comes next? Complexo do Alemão, once again full of traffickers!”

Well, the state [already] lost that war, by shooting itself in the foot. It thought merely of the presence of police in favelas [as a solution], observing us through the target of a police officer’s rifle. It didn’t guarantee rights, nor did it cultivate mutual respect. But they simply believed, drowned in ignorance and ravenous for money, that they would profit in different schemes with the talk of false peace, and using force, would contain the masses of the favelas. I repeat, not guaranteeing rights and even violating them!

Since the beginning of the chaos in the prisons, whenever it talks of something bad, Rio’s media mentions the favela, Alemão, and worse, without examining explanations of why things went wrong, making it seem that the blame is on us and not the state and federal governments. Nevertheless, while they could exploit all they could here in the favela, they spoke well of it, recording soap operas, movies, having the cable car fully functioning (it is now closed and no longer functioning) and the false UPP starting up…. Now, after exploiting [us], they link everything that is bad to Alemão, without exposing the reality of the state’s cruel abandonment of the favela.

What’s More…

The federal security people are so dirty and hypocritical, that the new ministry of justice notified that there be a transfer of R$295 million to the states, for the purchase of cell phone blockages for the prisons and for ankle bracelets for prisoners, for example.

Two hundred and ninety five million!

Jesus, help me!

Can we can send someone to the minister to ask if he is out of his mind?

The official discourse throughout the country is of crisis, difficulties, cuts…and he says that he’s going to invest all this money on cell phone blocking? Is this the most intelligent solution that he found as to how to invest that money? Man!

He is crazy, there is no other explanation.

And what about the overcapacity? And the spoiled food? And the various prisoners with tuberculosis? And the guarantee of rights? Those rights that are not realized and you do not make even the minimum effort to guarantee them.

All over the place, all we hear about is the crisis, of people with late salaries, and this guy freeing up so much money for to block cell phones. Can that be? Crazy!

Why don’t we see the minister of justice and other areas of public security speaking for example about the preservation of rights? Reconsider an antiquated drug policy? The creation of serious collaborations with the public ministry to try to resolve the problems of overcrowding, due to the large number of temporary prisoners?

The state didn’t lose only Alemão, they lost the cities, the state and the country, when they cleared the public safes with so many thefts and financial misappropriations. Now to make things right, they cut rights, cut employment, increase taxes… what hypocrisy.

If you gathered all the dirty politicians in this country, there would be so many that they would not fit in Cabral’s little room in the prison, nor in a gallery.

The media and authorities are counting police deaths, prison deaths, watching the blood of the poor run, but they don’t actually care, nor do they want to intervene in a manner that can stop these things. On the contrary, they take advantage of exploiting and profiting from this chaos.

In such a serious national crisis, these politicians are mocking the face of the people. Saying that the poor are at fault and meanwhile protecting those who actually are doing bad in great measure for society.

“The media and authorities are counting police deaths, prison deaths, watching the blood of the poor run, but they don’t actually care, nor do they want to intervene in a manner that can stop these things. On the contrary, they take advantage of exploiting and profiting from this chaos.”

The favelas are not at fault, especially not for the chaos in the prisons. Those and those that are in power and don’t do what should be don’t are truly at fault. They do not grant rights, they do not discuss a new drug policy, a new form of public security actions that is not the basis of wars and violence, or real investments in education and health, for example.

With so much racism and diverse prejudices, they want to put the blame on the favela and the prisons, after the obvious chaos occurs, in the face of the deliberate error of those who govern and occupy public offices in this country.

Brazil, a country governed with prejudice, racism, and so much hypocrisy.

But we continue resisting in an independent manner, showing the reality that the mainstream media and that public officials attempt to conceal.

Us for us.

Written by Raull Santiago, media-activist of the Coletivo Papo Reto, Complexo do Alemão.