The last stop on my around the world trip was Rio. It is a vibrant city with parties in the streets every night. Samba, drums, beaches, Caipirinhas and iconic places as the Pão de Açúcar, Copacabana or Corcovado with the Jesus statue on top. On top of Corcovado it is really crowded and everybody tries to get the classic picture. It’s all about the angle…
Besides all those tourist hot spots real live takes place in the favelas. People don’t earn a lot. Living in a favela is a relatively cheap option for all the employees who keep the daily business up and running. With the upcoming Soccer World Cup police forces are working hard to “clean” the streets of gangs. Once a favela is secured they install a peace police to start the pacification process. They build infrastructure e.g. water and electrical power supply and offer benefits to people who use those instead of the illegal wiring.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? The only problem is that the whole system is corrupt and a new form of organized crime is deeply involved in this pacification process. (If you are interested in this topic I suggest watching the movie Tropa de Elite 2. Brazilian people I talked to loved this movie because as they said: It is true. You are more of an action loving person? Watch Tropa de Elite first and then the second part.)
Besides corruption the pacification process brought benefits for all. Less gang wars, tourists going to the favelas as it is quite save now and therefore some income from tourism even inside those areas.
I loved the short time I spent in Rio and am looking forward to go back to Brazil to discover more places of this huge country.