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New Operation against Crack Removes Shacks in São Paulo City Center

06/12/2017 - 11h16



A new operation by the São Paulo police that removed duffel shacks from Princesa Isabel square on Sunday morning, June 11, marked the beginning of a new joint strategy designed by Governor Geraldo Alckmin and Mayor João Doria, both of the PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party), to try to stop the so-called "flow" of crack users in the São Paulo city center.

Alckmin and Doria say that from now on users will not be allowed to set up tents or shacks in the square or any other area in the city center. They say the new policy will inhibit the presence of drug dealers among pedestrians and thus create two new paths:

1) without a fixed area to buy and sell crack, drug users from other neighborhoods and cities will no longer seek the site;

2) without drug supplies, crack addicts will be more inclined to accept professional approach for medical treatment.

Danilo Verpa/Folhapress
Crack users in the São Paulo city center
Crack users in the São Paulo city center

The police actions on Sunday were supported by the City Hall. They isolated entire blocks, entered the square, arrested two people suspected of drug trafficking and removed users. As they noticed the police approach, users set fire to mattresses and shacks - some of them were used as bases for the drug dealers.

There were no confrontations and the drug users left the region spreading to other areas of the city center.

Two kilos of crack, R$1,600 (US$ 485) in cash and three mobile phones were seized. The City Hall used 24 trucks to collect all the garbage in the square.

The site was known as the city's new 'Crackland' as nearly one thousand people stayed in the area. This was the second police action in less than one month to disperse the 'Crackland'.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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