The great series of The Guardian continues as a warm-up for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro: The Rio Olympics – view from the favelas, articles written by community journalists which are people actually living there. This is really impressive and sometimes depressing material by people who not only know the favelas, but experience them every day.

About the financial situation of Rio de Janeiro (in the view from Maré):

8 July – The State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) is so broke that it has stopped paying students’ scholarships and teachers’ salaries. It won’t even have entrance tests this year. That is terrible news for the many residents of Maré who have studied for years to try to get into this public college. There is a strike and the campus has been occupied. I have friends whose graduation will be delayed for years because of the strike. The fight is for knowledge. Education is one of the most important things we have in life. We young people like to learn. And now, more than ever, we want that right back.

Long-term effects of the serious lack of police in favelas (in the view from Rocinha)

Rocinha residents took justice into their own hands after a member of the community stabbed and seriously injured his wife. The woman had to be hospitalised after the attack. When locals found out, they seized the husband, tied him up and burned him with cigarettes and candle wax. He was then handed over to the UPP. According to police, the offender confessed to attempted murder, but gave no reason for the fight. He could face up to 20 years in prison. It is common for residents to mete out punishment. There is a culture of intolerance of these cases. This is a legacy of the long absence of police. As with drug trafficking, residents mediate conflicts by themselves. Recently, the city inaugurated a community mediation centre in the favela to resolve problems in partnership with the court of Rio. But cases like rape and domestic violence still tend to be “judged” by residents.

Life surrounded by violence (in an overview article about the project):

My bus home is stopped by a protest. I don’t discover the cause until I arrive home. Hours earlier, 11-year-old Herinaldo Vinícius de Santana was fatally shot in the head on the way to buy a ping-pong ball. He is the second young victim this month in Maré. According to data released by Amnesty International, more than half of registered killings by on-duty police in Rio de Janeiro between 2010 and 2013 were of young people between the ages of 15 and 29. Of those killed, 79% were black.


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