Police Occupation in the Favelas

January 17, 2010

The New York Times just printed this article about Rio’s new initiative to clean up the favelas.  They’re looking to establish a police rule in forty of the biggest Zona Sul communities.  I guess they had to do something with the World Cup and the Olympics on their way, but this doesn’t seem to be the right answer. Is the Rio government skillful and subtle enough to pull this off without extreme violence? I think there will be fighting that’s likely to spill into what are currently safe neighborhoods.  While living there, I definitely felt like there was an equilibrium between the drug organization ruled favelas and the other parts of the city–they fed off of each other and there was a balance.  I think the Rio government would be much better off offering some kind of incentive to entice the favela communities to buy into these lucrative events, rather than imposing by brute force (and who knows which side has the upper hand) a police presence.  There’s talk of bringing Guiliani in as well, which is sort of interesting.

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One Response to “Police Occupation in the Favelas”

  1. Scott said

    Great post. Funny that you reference Giuliani in the last sentence in a way seemingly unconnected to the brutal tactics you describe just before. I have no idea if New York’s machiavellian former mayor was involved in the strategy change (nor if it will prove effective), but one can’t fail to notice his ends-justify-the-means fingerprint.

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