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São Paulo's Government Go-to Project, Low-Income Housing Complex in 'Cracolândia' Is Looted

04/25/2018 - 11h38

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THIAGO AMÂNCIO
FROM SÃO PAULO

A gang composed of several dozen people invaded the construction site of the Júlio Prestes complex, a low-income housing complex in the "Cracolândia' neighborhood in downtown São Paulo, vandalized and robbed several objects, leading to losses totaling hundreds of thousands of reais and setting back the handing over of apartment units by at least one month.

The looting took place in the early hours on Monday morning (the 23rd), following an altercation between neighborhood regulars and the city's Civil Guard.

In order to access the construction site, one has to go past security and go through a turnstile in one of the entrances on Duque de Caxias Avenue. The construction site covers the entire block between the avenue and Helvetia Street, where several homeless drug users are concentrated.

Marcelo Justo/Folhapress
One of the buildings at the Júlio Prestes complex
One of the buildings at the Júlio Prestes complex

Two invasions took place within the complex, which is the São Paulo government's go-to project. At around midnight, a group consisting of somewhere between 30 to 50 people managed to knock down one of the wooden boards closest to Helvetia Street, and invade the construction site, but were soon contained by security guards - all told, there are 14 guards supervising the entire complex.

One of the buildings was supposed to begin housing residents this week. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in late March when then-governor Geraldo Alckmin and then-mayor João Doria (both of whom belong to the PSDB) rushed to deliver the buildings before stepping down from their posts in order to run for office in the October elections.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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