16 Sep 2012

THE SHANTYTOWNS - "FAVELAS"


It’s well known that in Brazil there are lots of places where favelas are spread out around important cities and even in some minor ones. I can cite as a main example the city of Rio de Janeiro, perhaps the most known touristic Brazilian city, in which almost all regions there’s at least one shantytown.
Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro and its "Favelas"

In Rio, there are more than 400 shantytowns (nowadays Brazilian media has been calling favelas as "communities”), the most known internationally is “Cidade de Deus” (City of God, which one was made a film about). There is also “Vigário Geral”, “Rocinha”, “Complexo da Maré” and “Complexo do Alemão”. In Sao Paulo there are more than 100 favelas but they are smaller than Rio’s; the bigger one is “Favela do Paraisópolis”, located in one of the richest neighbourhood of the city – Morumbi.


What surprises me is why governments allow favelas to scatter around the cities! Favelas are always used as hideouts for bandits; it’s a place where drug traffickers can do business freely; it’s a site where the master trafficker dealer imposes his law. 
Trafficker holding a machine gun in Rio de Janeiro
Of course, there are lots of good people living in such a location but it is the minority. Most of persons, who live there, have conditions to pay for a monthly mortgage payment but they do not do it because in favelas they pay NOTHING to live. I mean, they do not pay for using water, electricity and others governments fees, so, why would they get out of a shantytown if living there they can do what they want and do not pay a penny for it? The problem is that we – the called middle class – have to pay for them!
"Paraisópolis" shantytown - a world of contrasts

In Rio, there’s tourism to visit favelas! It’s weird, uh? The taxes tourists pay go straight to the traffickers! Then, I can assume that when a tourist come to Rio and pay a fee to run throughout a favela he/she is not only encouraging crime as well as being supportive of there way of living.


In Brazil - always - the middle class that works a lot and pay for every taxes and bills, also has to pay for the tramps that live in shantytowns!
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