Peace on a Wire
Brazil is using innovative strategies in its fight against poverty and violence in Rio's slums. But with a World Cup around the corner and an Olympic games not far behind, are these solutions enough?
Brazil is booming like never before. Serious international investment has created many new jobs and since 2003 more than 20 million people have risen out of poverty. "We do not have serious financial problems like Europe and the United States", says a Brazilian insurance agent. In Rio, a new cable car system transports 100,000 people from the slums into the city to work each day. Yet a booming illegal weapons and drugs trade still plagues the city. The government strategy of "pacification" has seen military occupation of the sprawling favelas for two years: a controversial measure, but one that is credited with making the streets safe again."Today I can walk around unarmed and alone without being afraid", one policeman smiles. "Look we have an ATM and can take money out in peace!" a local journalist shows us proudly. They might still have a long way to go, but locals are positive that, "we now have a better country".