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Drug Traffic 'Tests' Policing and Tries to Retake Actions in São Paulo's Crackland

08/02/2017 - 11h07

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MARIANA ZYLBERKAN
FROM SÃO PAULO

The trigger factor for the last confrontation that occurred in the crackland region, in the center of São Paulo, was the shacks set up amidst the concentration of addicts.

Guards and police officers are advised to remove them, but there is resistance, and those structures have been increasing in recent weeks. It is under them where the traffic and the use of crack happens.

To facilitate their installation in the streets and squares of the center, addicts adapt sticks and tarps attached to grids that can be reassembled more quickly.

The drug users today are concentrated next to the Júlio Prestes train station, a few meters from where the old crackland was.

The current structure of trafficking, however, is much more fragile. Following the late May law enforcement action that got drug dealers arrested and cleared some avenues, there is no longer, for example, an open-air drug fair or armed dealers in the middle of the streets.

However, in recent weeks, Folha has noticed and heard reports of the dealers' attempt to retake at least a part of the lost ground in the region in the last three months, following police action.

According to one crack user, in fear of the monitoring cameras scattered all over the place, including drones, dealers are no longer in the middle of the flow of addicts, and who negotiate the drug in the crackland are some users, in exchange for sustaining their own addiction.

Translated by MARINA DELLA VALLE

Read the article in the original language

Paulo Whitaker/Reuters
A drug user walks in front of riot police during a police operation in a neighborhood known to locals as Cracolandia (Crackland), in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil
A drug user walks in front of riot police during a police operation in a neighborhood known to locals as Cracolandia (Crackland), in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil

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