Rio re­thinks slum tours

Toronto Sun - - NEWS -

RIO DE JANEIRO — As au­thor­i­ties in Brazil tack­led crime ear­lier this decade, open­ing Rio de Janeiro’s hill­side fave­las to tourists seemed like a win­ning idea. The views are breath­tak­ing, the slum res­i­dents could cash in, and for­eign vis­i­tors would see an­other part of the city — not just Copaca­bana beach.

Now soar­ing vi­o­lence in the hill­side com­mu­ni­ties is rekin­dling a con­cern: Are fave­las safe to visit?

While tourists have oc­ca­sion­ally been shot af­ter ac­ci­den­tally veer­ing into fave­las, the re­cent death of a Span­ish tourist at the hands of po­lice put a spot­light on in­se­cu­rity in Rio and its slums.

For many favela res­i­dents though, tourism is a life­line in neigh­bour­hoods where for­mal jobs are scarce.

AP FILES

Res­i­dents of all ages walk past sol­diers with guns pa­trolling the Rocinha slum in Rio de Janeiro.

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