Next year in Rocinha/ Ano que vem na Rocinha [UPDATED]

Anselmo Gois noticiou em sua coluna que mil recém treinados recrutas da polícia militar irão ocupar e pacificar a Rocinha em janeiro 2011. Para ler o principal do que segue em português, clique nos links embutidos ou leia o Anselmo aqui. No dia da eleição, o governador Sérgio Cabral confirmou que a Rocinha terá uma UPP em 2011, mas não disse em qual mês que isso irá ocorrer.

O Globo columnist Anselmo Gois reported Sept. 18 2010 that one thousand newly trained military police recruits are set to occupy and pacify Rocinha favela in January. On election day, Governor Sérgio Cabral (who was reelected by a record number of voters, with 65% of valid votes) confirmed that Rocinha will have a UPP in 2011, but didn’t say in which month this will occur.

The news is unsourced, but the pacification of Rocinha– whenever it takes place– will make a huge difference for Rio’s South Zone.  Gois didn’t mention Vidigal, the contiguous favela which is also ruled by “Nem”, Rocinha’s drug boss.

Home to an estimated minimum of 100,000 residents, Rocinha straddles a mountain between two of Rio’s wealthiest neighborhoods, São Conrado and Gávea. Many domestic and other service workers who live in the two favelas work at homes and businesses in these neighborhoods, as well as at the upscale Fashion Mall and the Escola Americana, which serves many foreign families, as well as Brazilians. Rocinha is an in-your-face reminder to many cariocas of the urgent need to improve public safety– not only for its well-off neighbors, but for the residents themselves, whose lives are governed by the violent comings and goings of the drug traffic.

In late August a portion of Nem’s personal army engaged in a shootout with police , invaded a São Conrado hotel and took hostages — later released unharmed. Gois comments in his column that this would have been the perfect moment to invade the favela– but at the time, the military police didn’t have a large enough force available.

Elsewhere, Rio’s military police have been the target of shooting attacks, allegedly by angry drug traffickers, according to the Jornal Extra. Three attacks took place in less than 12  hours; one officer has died and a wounded bar customer is in serious condition. The police are on high alert, as a protective measure. The drug traffickers are thought to be unhappy about two recent confrontations with police, in which a total of 11 supposed criminals have died. Police were attacked in Jacarepagua and Ilha do Governador. In Jacarepaguá, the attackers were clad in bullet-proof vests and carried rifles.

The confrontations apparently are not directly connected to the state’s favela pacification program, which has so far been carried out with little violence.

And the program expands; this past Friday Rio’s 12th UPP was inaugurated , in Tijuca’s Salgueiro favela, with a population of 5,000. Governor Sérgio Cabral (running for reelection on October 3 and far ahead in the polls) said that by year-end, additional UPP beachheads will be established in the favelas of Morro dos Macacos, Mangueira, Maracanã and possibly Morro de São Carlos.

The governor said his strategy  is to pacify the entire South Zone and Tijuca area first, to then move into other areas dominated by drug traffickers.

The challenge grows for human rights secretary Ricardo Henriques, coordinator of the social UPP program meant to follow on the heels of the police.

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About Rio real

American journalist, writer, editor who's lived in Rio de Janeiro for 20 years.
This entry was posted in Transformation of Rio de Janeiro / Transformação do Rio de Janeiro and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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