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Brazil to Spend US$ 1.7 Billion to Help Over 1 Million in Rio’s Slums

Favela in Rio, part of the Alemão complex The Brazilian government will spend US$ 1.7 billion to bring running water and other basic services to Rio de Janeiro favelas (slums) to counter drug gangs that control many of the poor areas, announced President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

"If the state doesn't fulfill its role and does not provide (adequate) conditions for the people, drug traffickers and organized crime will," Lula said days after clashes between police and gangsters killed 19 people in one slum.

"So we want to compete with organized crime, and we are sure that we will beat it when we manage to bring benefits to the poorest places," he said at a meeting with auto workers in Sao Bernardo do Campo, an industrial suburb of São Paulo.

Rio is notorious for its violent slums, which give it one of the highest murder rates in Latin America. Over a million people in the city of 11 million live in shantytowns, or favelas, which often lack basic services.

Rio state security chief José Beltrame said last week slum residents were "at the mercy of a parallel state, where criminals dictate their will." He pledged more police raids to combat drug traffickers.

Human rights groups criticize the military-style raids and call for city services to be brought to the slums, and education and jobs for its residents.

In another speech later in Rio de Janeiro, Lula da Silva called for a tough police stance against drug gangs.

"There are people who think it's only possible to confront crooks with rose petals, throwing talcum powder. We have to confront (gangs) knowing that many times they are better prepared than the police, with more modern guns than the police," Lula said, speaking next to Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral.

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  • Show Comments (3)

  • Paulo Cunha

    ch.c
    My good Sir, I came to know that you are not a brasilian and a Swiss pedophile who likes to take the Lufthansa flights to the North of our country, once in a while.A shocking news. Shame on you and I am really disappointed with the neutral Swiss. Now I understand what it means to be “neutral”. A bunch of enuchs.

    Have a great flight to Fortaleza.

  • ch.c.

    doubtful…….
    that the criminals will exchange water…for peace !!!!!!
    Water doesnt reduce….POVERTY !!!!!
    Water doesnt reduce the Brazilian Wealth Inequality.
    As long as there will be huge wealth at the side of huge poverty……poors will take their share….one way or the other !
    Poors are talking about revenues/wages/jobs/education/healthcare/social care and affordability !!!!!

    Believing otherwise is a pure HERESY !!!!!!!

    It is probably the tenth time that Lula has promised a reduced crime rate –
    THUS FAR…..PROMISES STAYED AS PROMISES AS USUAL…AND CRIMES RATES KEPT GOING WORSE AND WORSE !!

    Poor xriminals have nothing to lose anyway…by definition, and only a small chance to go to jail.

    WHY SHOULD THEY STOP ????? Just to please the government and the wealthy brazilians ?

    Come on, lets be serious….for ONCE !!!!

  • forest Brown

    just buy them out would be cheeper
    Manny of Rio slums are prime real state for investment ,
    on the hills overlooking the ocean many rich envy the view the poor have , but with no way to get it for free they set about to let the government to build LULA houses some place else and move the poor out.
    Then let the land rush begin where was once a slum control ed by the drug gangs will be
    condos and houses for the rich , with good water , electricity , sewer , the poor will then have jobs cleaning the houses of the rich on what was once there land.

    If the chief of police would quit robing the money from his force they would have the weapons to combat the drug lords.

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