It’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and also one of the most dangerous. In the slums of Rio de Janeiro violent drug gangs operate with impunity, and with no regard for human life.
Now after decades of chaos, Brazilian authorities are attempting to restore order. They’re resorting to military style force, and a new approach to policing. This bold offensive is referred to as “pacification”, but will it work, and can it work in time?
The battle for Rio is on, as the filmmakers take you inside the City of God, Guns and Gangs.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most picturesque cities on Earth and it’s easy to see why it’s known as “Cidade Maravilhosa” – the Marvelous City. Rio arguably has more postcard views than most other cities combined. But Rio de Janeiro is also a city plagued by gross economic disparity. Rio is home to 600 slums, or favelas as they’re known in Brazil. These shanty towns are often built right alongside the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods.
One in five of the city’s residents live in a favela, and many will tell you they feel like second class citizens. The government has little or no control over the slums of Rio, and over the decades, as officials look the other way, the favelas became a haven for drug traffickers. In a favela, it’s now a commonplace for the media to capture images of teenagers wielding assault rifles, guarding the slums from outsiders and murdering anyone who gets in their way.
Rio security forces have on occasion led operations against the traffickers, but there’s never been a concerted effort to dismantle their operations entirely… until now. Securing Rio de Janeiro has never been more important.
In 2014 Brazil will host the World Cup and two years later the Olympics. The eyes of the world will be on Rio like never before.
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