The view is mag­nif­i­cent – the favela tum­bles down to the blue of Gua­n­abara Bay

Business Traveler (USA) - - TRAVEL AMERICAS -

was set and in­spired the au­thor­i­ties to ini­ti­ate a large-scale“favela paci­fi­ca­tion project”to bring law and or­der to other com­mu­ni­ties.

About a third of Rio’s six mil­lion-peo­ple live in slums, but since 2008, more than 30 fave­las – with pop­u­la­tions equal to about 500,000 – have been paci­fied. The op­er­a­tion be­gins with the Elite Squad rolling in with tanks and riot shields on a pub­licly broad­cast date, and driv­ing out or ar­rest­ing the crim­i­nals. When their work is done – with amaz­ingly few shots fired – young, spe­cially trained Paci­fy­ing Po­lice Units (UPPs) are as­signed as a per­ma­nent pres­ence. Pub­lic ser­vices such as WiFi, sewage sys­tems, fresh wa­ter, elec­tric­ity and cable TV are de­liv­ered as part of the“so­cial invasion,”and in some com­mu­ni­ties, such as Com­plexo do Ale­mao, ed­u­ca­tion cen­ters un­veiled with free ac­cess to com­put­ers and train­ing cour­ses.

What ef­fect is it all hav­ing? Tour guide Ar­naldo Bichucher ac­knowl­edges that the project may not be per­fect, but it is ul­ti­mately an im­prove­ment:“There are still drug deal­ers in the paci­fied fave­las, but they have to hide. Now the idols for the lit­tle kids are the Elite Cops.”

So Sim­ple, So Clever

Po­si­tioned on the sunkissed shores of the roar­ing At­lantic Ocean, the sec­ond-big­gest city in Brazil weaves its way be­tween steep, ver­dant hills – it is to th­ese that the fave­las cling, and from where the poor­est Car­i­o­cas (lo­cals) en­joy the best views. (They are trumped only by Christ the Redeemer, stand­ing on the sum­mit of Cor­co­v­ado Moun­tain.)

The wealthy, on the other hand, live down low in dis­tricts such as Fla­mengo, Le­blon and Barra da Ti­juca, as well as in the

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.