Sincere thanks to everyone who participated in the making of this documentary. There were so many of you who helped, from putting me up while in Rio, to transcribing long interviews, to helping me with local contacts, to doing the voice-overs, and to helping to partially fund the project. I thank you all unreservedly. Obrigadao
Corruption and violence continue in the pacified favelas….
Read this translation of a piece by RioRadar that appeared in O Globo on 21st February.
Interesting cartoon by Fernando Schmidt showing how pacified communities are, and how they could be.
Valter Figueiredo lives in the Ladeira dos Tabajaras, a favela which perches on a hill between the two areas of Botafogo and Copacabana. UPP have been in Valter’s community for two years, following a major standoff between two rival factions spilled down onto the “asphalt” (as non-favela parts of the city are affectionately called). This type of warfare spilling down amongst the common civiilians cause da bit of a stir, and attracted international media attention, something Brasil will go to any length to avoid.
Valter said it took residents quite a while to get used to the new powers that be in his community. Lots of new rules and regulations were brought in by the police officers, in what was previously a fairly lawless society. Valter said Tabajaras has always been a peaceful community, despite being under the control of a drug trafficking faction.
He also said that the trafficking continues unabated now that the community police are in place, and that the police are well aware of this fact. The modes of trafficking have changed and trafficker now use more discreet methods to do business. They are unarmed now too, in their wheelings and dealings.
The middle and upper classes who are consistently shocked by the violence and disorder that spills out of the favleas from time to time, need to take their own share of the blame, he siad. It is this subset is society that are comsuming the drugs, that are generating this business within the favela networks. It is them that keep all of the problems alive.
A TV cameraman
was shot in the chest today while filming an exchange of shots between police and traffickers. It is customary here for TV journalists to be present during such raids, although cops say they did not invite Gelson Domingos da Silva along today. Brasilian news watchers have scenes of exceptional violance boomed into their sitting rooms and kitchens every day.
The moments leading up to da Silva’s death have been published online ad viewers can hear him shout in pain as he takes a bullet into his chest. Will this shake things up?
There is a lot of talk in the city as the moment about violence, and how to get rid of this problem. A dead journalist shot on live TV does little to aid and abet the campaign that the city is trying to get out there- that the violence is being taken under control.
How much of this grand PR campaign is rhetoric anyhow, and how much is just band-aiding the problem until the games are over remains to be seen.
No-one I have interviewed to date seems to believe that there is much hope or permanency in the solutions currently offered. Everyone accepts corruption as endemic here – its a given. No-one seems to have much faith that this can or will change.
Blog posted January 2012, refers to events November 2011
Met with the head of UPP Social
, the branch of the pacifistic police who are responsible for social initiatives within the pacified communities. He admits that there have been some teething problems with the community policing initiatives, but that say that UPP is a viable and real solution to Rio de Janeiro’s problems.
The problem of militia groups, who now control as are in the control of the drugs trafficking factions, is known and recognised, he said but we need to start somewhere. UPP is just the beginning, he reckons, of finding a solution for Brasil’s many deeply ingrained problems, The authorities cannot take on everything at the same time.