April 7, 2014
Marco Antonio Martins & Bruno Fanti – Folha de S. Paulo, 4/7/2014
Part of the success or failure of the occupation by the armed forces of the Complexo da Maré, in Rio’s north end, is its ability to win over the community. It’s what the military began trying to do three hours after its occupation of the 15 favelas of Maré.
Yesterday, there was a moment of tension between the military and residents after a young man was beaten by others and the military was accused of doing nothing.
Cláudio Brum dos Reis, 22, a student and resident of Nova Holanda, went to watch a game in Baixa do Sapateiro. The favelas were ruled by different factions. According to relatives, Reis was attacked by a group of teenagers and thrown in the ditch that divides the communities.
April 7, 2014
Al Jazeera - 4/6/2014
In the canyons of Brazil’s largest city there are tens of thousands being left in the wake of the country’s economic riptide.
Sao Paulo has outstripped its capacity for affordable housing and yet there are hundreds of abandoned buildings that stand empty.
Facing the dire prospect of being forced into the streets by rising rents and living in the ever-expanding and hazardous favelas, there is an occupation movement taking responsibility for its own future. They seize abandoned buildings for the low-wage workers who have few options except to forcibly occupy them. They then have to live with the uncertainty that they could be removed either by the state or the building’s owner.
April 7, 2014
Loretta Chao – Wall Street Journal, 4/4/2014
In Brazil, where women in skimpy bikinis and carnival costumes are a common sight, one image of a half-naked female is drawing rare nationwide attention.
A widely distributed photo of a topless journalist with the words “I don’t deserve to be raped” painted on her body in Portuguese has polarized the country and underscored the contradiction between Brazil’s hyper-sexualized image and its lesser-known conservative underpinnings.
The journalist, 28-year-old Nana Queiroz, took the picture as part of a campaign to raise awareness over violence against women, which began after a government research agency said recently that 65% of respondents to a national survey agreed that women showing too much of their bodies deserve to be attacked.
April 4, 2014
Associated Press, 4/3/2014
Authorities will set up offices in the slums of Brazil’s second largest city to receive complaints about abuse of power by police, the top security official of the state of Rio de Janeiro said Thursday.
Jose Mariano Beltrame made the promise during a meeting with residents of the Mare complex of slums, who expressed fears of police violence and human rights abuses.
Beltrame acknowledged that police “at times act in an aggressive way” but he said “this is not the rule.”
March 21, 2014
The Associated Press – The Miami Herald, 3/20/2014
Rio de Janeiro police say suspected drug gang members have attacked three of the so-called police pacification posts set up recently in slums.
At least one policeman was shot and wounded Thursday night, while the police outpost — a cluster of metal shipping containers — located near the slum that Pope Francis visited last year was burned.
It’s the latest violence to hit Rio just before the city is set to host several matches during the World Cup.
Since 2008, police have pushed into slums and driven out drug gangs, who lorded over vast swaths of Rio for decades. In an effort to secure the city ahead of the World Cup and 2016 Olympics, police then installed permanent posts.
March 21, 2014
The Economist, 3/20/2014
EVERY year Brazil’s police are responsible for at least 2,000 deaths. The victims are generally recorded as having been “killed while resisting arrest” (the exact phrase used varies from state to state). Usually, few apart from the victims’ families take much notice—even when the circumstances are highly suspicious, for example where the fatal wounds suggest the victim was running away when shot, or even kneeling. It is rare that a police officer is suspended for a killing; rarer still for one to be charged or tried (although on March 19th ten were found guilty of a sickening prison massacre in 1992). But a recent case has horrified even this violence-hardened nation.
On March 16th Cláudia da Silva Ferreira, a 38-year-old mother of four, was struck by gunfire during a shoot-out between police and suspected criminals close to her home in a favela on the periphery of Rio de Janeiro. The police bundled her into the boot of their car—ostensibly to take her to the hospital—but without closing it properly. During the trip it sprang open and her body fell out. An item of clothing snagged on the car and she was dragged for several hundred metres behind the car before one of the officers got out and put her body back in.
What made this case stand out was that the horrible scene was captured on video by a passer-by, and later published online. That has pushed the case onto the national agenda. On March 18th the president, Dilma Rousseff, offered her condolences to Ms da Silva Ferreira’s family; Rio state’s governor, Sérgio Cabral, apologised to the family in a meeting the following day. Two of the three policemen in the car have been charged with murder.
March 20, 2014
Roger Blitz – The Financial Times, 3/20/2014
Brazil should have been better prepared for this year’s World Cup and has also been too slow in getting ready for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the country’s sports minister has admitted.
The frank admission from Aldo Rebelo marks a shift in tone from the Brazilian government from its consistently defiant message that it was on top of the task of hosting the world’s next two biggest sporting events.
Asked in an FT interview what Brazil would have done differently when it was awarded the World Cup seven years ago, Mr Rebelo said: “We would have taken better advantage of the time because the decisions would not be different.
March 20, 2014
Anthony Baodle – Reuters, 3/18/2014
Brazil will drop a controversial provision that would have forced global Internet companies to store data on Brazilian users inside the country to shield them from U.S. spying, a government minister said on Tuesday.
The rule was added last year to proposed Internet governance legislation after revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency had spied on the digital communications of Brazilians, including those of their President Dilma Rousseff and the country’s biggest company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.
Instead, the legislation will say that companies such as Google Inc and Facebook Inc are subject to Brazilian laws in cases involving information on Brazilians even if the data is stored abroad, congressional relations minister Ideli Salvatti told reporters.
March 14, 2014
David Biller – Bloomberg, 3/13/2014
Rio de Janeiro state’s security forces occupied another slum today following a surge in crime in the favelas where it has expanded policing.
Heavily armed police moved into the Vila Kennedy neighborhood in the west of the city this morning, making it the 38th favela taken over since 2008, according to the state security secretariat. There were no reports of gunfire in what culminated six days of operations in other communities.
Brazil’s biggest tourist destination is struggling to stamp out violence ahead of the soccer World Cup that starts in June. Drug traffickers have regained traction in some shantytowns, including one hillside between Ipanema and Copacabana beach, complicating efforts to keep a fragile peace won by building and staffing police stations. Vila Kennedy will now gain its own pacification unit, known as a UPP.