Fault Lines - Rio: Olympic City





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Published on Jan 13, 2010

An explosion of joy on the streets of Rio greeted the announcement that the city would be hosting the 2016 Olympic Games.

Two weeks later, and Rio saw an explosion of violence when a police helicopter was shot down by drug traffickers.

The government's reaction has been to intensify the crackdown on the city's slums - or Favelas.

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The latest slum to be taken over is Cantagalo, just a few minutes from Rio's famous beaches.

Cantagalo was, until a few days ago, under the control of the Red Command, the city's largest drug trafficking gang.
Regular patrols are now being carried out there by Rio's military police special forces, BOPE.

While they carry out their patrols, at the bottom of the hill, the police at Cantagalo's entrances check everyone who comes and goes.

Most residents are ordinary, working or middle class people. It looks and feels like their neighbourhood is under military occupation.

Bullet holes in people's homes bear testament to regular shoot outs. And police bullets are not just shattering windows.

A Human Rights Watch report last month accused Rio and Sao Paolo police of killing over 11,000 people since 2003.

Many, the report claims, were executed by the police, shot at point blank range. Many were innocent. And on many occasions, the police tried to cover up the evidence.

In this episode, Fault Lines travels to Rio to look at the crackdown in Rio's Favelas, and what it means for the people of the city.

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