In the midst of violence, Rio reconsiders favela tourism!

Published on : Friday, November 24, 2017

indexAt the earlier part of this decade, Brazil authorities tackled crime efficiently. The opening of Rio de Janeiro’s hillside favelas to the visitors seemed like a great idea! The slum residents could easily cash in the breathtaking views and foreign visitors would get a chance to see another city, other than Copacabana beach.


With rising violence in the hillside communities is bringing a concern to the spotlight: Are favelas safe to visit?


Notably described in the Oscar-nominated movie as the “City of God,” Rio’s favelas was earlier known only for drugs and crimes. However, bunch of makeshift housing that run up Rio’s hillsides are the place to give birth to the Carnival parade, samba music and street art as well.


In 2008, part of the preparations that all started for hosting the Olympic Games, authorities tried their best to make these remote corners much safer by ruling out drug gangs. The recent countrywide financial crisis has exacerbated deep disparity resulting in cuts in funding for security purposes. However, authorities say that they have yet again lost control of majority of the slums they once declared “pacified.”


“The question is very complex to simply say if it is safe or not,” said Marcelo Armstrong, who has been guiding tourists to favelas for the last twenty five years. “Depends where, depends what day, depends what circumstance. That’s the reality of Rio now.”


Rio has witnesses average of 15 shootings daily involving police and heavily armed gangs this year. Hundreds of common people, many of whom are residents of the favelas, got killed or wounded in the crossfire.


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