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Pacification in Complexo do Alemão Slum Fails After R$ 700 Million Invested in 10 Years

06/06/2016 - 10h20



Less than three months from the opening of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, the group of slums of the Complexo do Alemão – neighboring one of the main roads used in the event, Linha Amarela – is far from being a pacified area, despite its four UPP stations (Pacifying Police Unit).

More than R$ 700 million (US$ 195 million) has been invested over the last decade. Politicians, NGOs and Hollywood celebrities have visited the slum to commemorate the occupation of the area by military troops in 2010.

Residents are obliged to live amid frequent gun fights and the curfew imposed by drug lords of the Comando Vermelho criminal group. In May, seven people were injured by gunshots and two were killed: a local resident and a police officer.

A survey by the NGO Voz das Comunidades, which began in the Complexão do Alemão, shows that eight deaths have been registered in the region since the beginning of the year - seven local residents and one police officer. Twenty others were injured: 13 residents and seven military officers.

The Comando Vermelho drug dealers, who had been driven out of the region during the occupation, have resumed their drug trade in local slums and now take advantage of the financial crisis faced by Rio de Janeiro state and its Department of Security to increase confrontation.

Folha verified that iron bars and metal barrels filled with cement were set up in the area. The idea is to stop police cars from entering at least two of the slums, Areal and Casinhas.

"Complexo do Alemão is better now than it was before the UPPs were created, but violence has not ended. And the worst thing is the idea that the pacification project failed. The residents of the city feel that nothing works," said social scientist Silvia Ramos, coordinator of CESeC (Study Center for Security and Citizenship at the University Cândido Mendes).

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

Read the article in the original language

Residents of the Complexo do Alemão slum are obliged to live amid frequent gun fights
Residents of the Complexo do Alemão slum are obliged to live amid frequent gun fights

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