For the original article in Portuguese by Edu Carvalho published by O Globo click here.
RioOnWatch Editor’s note: In an article analyzing the “indifference” and “silence” of Brazilian authorities and institutions in the face of violence in favelas, Carta Capital reports that at least one person has died every three days in the confrontations in Rocinha that have continued on a regular basis since September. The following is a reaction from a Rocinha resident and community reporter.
I never thought that in 19 years I would experience so acutely the sharing of fear. The mutual fear, which imprisons, envelops, and causes panic. The stalking fear, which follows you, making it impossible to take a step, buy bread, or hang your laundry out to dry. The fear of my mother going down to work and being hit [by a bullet]. The fear of a child playing in the alley and being hit. The fear of a pregnant woman trying to get to the hospital and being hit.
This fear, or rather, this bullet, hit us four months ago. Four difficult, tense months leaving a single question floating in the air: until when? For how long will we be unable to walk in the place where we were born, where we grew up and raised our own children? For how long will instability be the mark of a favela in the heart of a city so affectionately called ‘marvelous’? For how long?
While we ask this question, shots fly by the walls of houses. Someone dodged them and, by ‘luck,’ was not injured and did not become one more statistic in this dataset showing how vulnerable we are to violence and danger. For some, it’s over. It is time to leave. It’s time to look for another Pasargadae (an ‘ironically ideal place’ in Brazilian literature) where we can be happy. Where no shots are heard, and where peace, finally, is possible.
Edu Carvalho is a resident of Rocinha and a reporter for the community news site FavelaDaRocinha.com.