Rio Olympics: benefit or burden for poor communities in Brazil?

Carla Kweifio-Okai – The Guardian, 07/01/2016

In August, Rio de Janeiro will welcome athletes and tourists for the first Olympic Games on South American soil. But the preparations have been far from smooth, and human rights campaigners have been particularly concerned about the impact of the Games on Brazilian city’s most vulnerable communities.

Residents of Rio’s favelas have spoken of battles against forced evictions, police violence and wasted spending.

In our series on life in the city, Michel Silva, a journalist from Rocinha, Brazil’s largest favela, explained why he was concerned about the Olympics’ impact on his neighbourhood. “We don’t know yet what the legacy of the Olympics will be for our community,” he wrote. “A huge amount of public money was spent on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and although sport can be a tool for social inclusion, what we really need is investment in education, health, security and many other things. Rio de Janeiro is not ready for another mega event.”

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