Started off this morning by meeting Daniella Guedes Rocha of Viva Favela, a website which acts nationally as a portal for all things occurring within the favela communities.  On the go for ten years, Viva Favela gives favela residents a place to announce events, to denounce happenings, and to voice concerns within the communities.

According to Daniella, the official count of favela communities has diminished from 1,200 to around 600.  The communities have not disappeared, of course.  Rather, they are being bunched together into “complexes” for and by the number crunchers.  Stats read better that way.

Replacing the traficantes with UPP amounts to replacing one type of dictatorship with another, she says.  There are still uzis being brandished in people’s faces, only this time in the arms of police rather than drugs traffickers.  What is the difference for a resident?  A bar owner playing music after 10pm had seven heavily armed cops rock up to his door.  Why couldn’t they put away the guns, and just explain that the music needs to be turned off?  They don’t need to bully residents like this.

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