Broken Promises to Paraisópolis Favela Range from Park to Subway

Obligatory stop in elections, community in southern SP accumulates disappointment with politicians

Artur Rodrigues

The residents of Paraisópolis (in the south of SP) know the script well. In times of tragedy and elections, politicians turn their eyes to the community with promises that often go out of their way.

Among the commitments never fulfilled, residents list as a subway station, a park, a music school, thousands of houses, and channeling a stream.

The quasi-city with more than 100,000 inhabitants - the same as Itanhaém, on the coast, or Assis, inland - is surrounded by Morumbi mansions and was the scene of a soap opera. It has organized leadership and successful social projects.

This combo has already helped ensure community improvements but has also attracted many empty promises.

Following the death of nine young people in the favela during police action at a funk party earlier this month, the government rushed there to try to stem the crisis. On Monday (9), about 20 representatives of the first level of municipal management, Bruno Covas (PSDB), and state, João Doria (PSDB), appeared in the Union of Residents and Commerce Paraisópolis.

Residents delivered a list of dozens of requests, some of which were already among commitments made by the government in 2009, after military police operation against drug trafficking. The operation lasted months and accumulated reports of abuse.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon