Monday, November 29, 2010

Favela Cleanup Program Spurs Violence in Rio

Violence has erupted in Rio de Janeiro as the state expands on a program to try to clean up the city's crime-riddled favelas. The impact is intended to refresh the city's image ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Rio authorities say the violence is in reaction to a two-year-old policing project, known as the "pacification" program, to root out organized drug-fueled crime by occupying favelas (or shanty towns). The program involves setting up heavy policing units to reclaim slums from gangs, and authorities say it has "pacified" 13 favelas since its inception.

To supporters it has been a one-of-a-kind success. For skeptics it is smoke and mirrors. The answer generally depends on where you live.

Rash of Rio violence rattles even hardened residents in Brazil's World Cup host city
The Christian Science Monitor
November 24, 2010