Demostenes Moraes, Katerina Bezgachina – The Guardian, 01/03/2013
In October 2012 citizens across Brazil followed the news as police officers, backed by armoured cars and helicopters, moved to take control of two Rio de Janeiro slums notorious for drug crime. These raids were part of a policy known as “pacification”, designed to help state authorities gain a greater presence in the country’s shantytowns. At the same time, Brazil has been trying to clean up its most dangerous regions ahead of the 2014 football World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.
It’s no secret that slums and informal settlements are one of the biggest global housing problems and as the rate of urbanisation continues to rise we will face even bigger challenges in our largest cities. Recent surveys ranked São Paulo as the 10th most expensive city in the world, with Rio de Janeiro in 12th position. At the same time, Brazil has up to 8 million fewer residential properties than it needs, with the poorest communities feeling the impact of this housing deficit.
It is estimated that more than 50 million Brazilians live in inadequate housing. Most of these families have an income below the minimum wage of R$675 (about US$330) a month. Roughly 26 million people living in urban areas lack access to potable water, 14 million have no refuse collection service and 83 million are not connected to sewerage systems.
Deutsche Welle , 11/13/2012
Few countries can boast income inequality quite like Brazil. Now, current research shows that the incomes of low earners in Brazil have risen rapidly. But, will the improvements really help the country’s poor?
The perception that social inequality has been declining in Brazil can now be backed up with data. A study from the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), a Brazilian institution that works closely with the national government, shows a rapid retreat in economic disparity over the last 10 years. Inequality is now at its lowest point since census data began in the 1950s, the researchers say.
During the period between 2001 and 2011, income levels for Brazil’s poorest increased much faster than for the richest. The poorest 10 percent of the population nearly doubled their income during that time, while the richest increased their earnings by just one-sixth.
Fabiana Frayssinet – Inter Press Service, 07/12/2011
Local women’s voices have begun to be heard over a community radio station now broadcasting in Complexo do Alemao, a clump of favelas or shantytowns on the north side of this Brazilian city that were ruled until recently by armed drug gangs.
Gender issues, social and health matters, local environmental problems, employment and women’s rights are the focus of Radio Mulher, or women’s radio station, which began to broadcast this month.
Before going on the air, the participants received a year of training about the workings of a radio station, including general courses for all as well as specific training in different areas depending on each woman’s role in the station, as determined by each individual’s strengths and talents.