The following is a letter from the residents of Laboriaux to city officials, cordially demanding they fulfill their obligations to the citizenry, and undertake in necessary infrastructural works in, and around, Laboriaux, and similar neighborhoods.
Many of the neighborhood’s installations are in a precarious state, and continued disregard to maintenance is putting the lives of local residents in danger. The threat of disease, due to increased rat and mosquito populations, could result in the spread of diseases, including dengue. A leaking sewer system is spewing dirty water into city streets, and dark alleyways put hardworking residents in dangers way when they return home after completing night shifts.
This letter was originally sent to the Vice-governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luis Fernando de Souza, know as Pezao. It should be noted that Pezao is also the state’s Secretary of Public Works and Development. Marcelo Bezerra Crivella, Federal Senator (PRB) from Rio de Janeiro, also received a copy of this letter.
A translation of the letter can be found below, as well as a link to the original.
Rio de Janeiro 19 March, 2010
The community of Laboriaux, in the Rocinha sector of Rio de Janeiro, has come together, to voice some of our concerns, and seek resolution to our problems through all available avenues. Our community, since 5 April, 2010, has been among the city’s forgotten neighborhoods, and asks you take into consideration the fact that these issues not only affect out community, and the health of our children, but also the surrounding neighborhoods in Rocinha. We humbly ask you attend to our following requests:
01 – We ask for maintenance of the Rua do Carmo road, our main avenue of transit, which is in horrid condition due to weather damage. Damage begins at street Number 18, and continues through to the end of the road, with the worst damage at street Number 22. The situation has forced community residents and the local businesses to join hands, scrapping together funds to patch up the road as best as possible.
02 – We ask for maintenance to the embankments of the surrounding hillsides, which have been in disrepair in April 2010. There haven’t been any practical solutions to this issue, on the part of local government, which they have known of since 2010. The lack of tangible solutions is putting the lives of local residents in danger. These residents have been living in this area for more than 30 years, when they were relocated here from equally dangerous living grounds.
03 – We ask the city government to remove debris and demolition materials, which have been left in the wake of removals from areas the city cited as being “at risk.” The company contracted to do the demolitions simply tore the houses down, and never removed the debris, which has become a haven for rats. The growth of the Aedes aegypti mosquito population, which carries dengue and other diseases, has been on the rise. Of growing concern is the lack of green area, where slabs of rock replace trees, and old furniture dot the landscape.
04 – We ask for maintenance to the neighborhood sewage system located at the juncture with Jose Inacio Road, which is currently broken and is spewing dirty sewage water into the surrounding areas. Beyond the pollution of the ecological park there has been an accumulation of water at the base of surrounding hills increasing the risk of landslides.
05 – We ask for clean up of the path that leads towards the local sports pitch, considering this is the only place of leisure for our children, and is completely obstructed.
06 – We ask for better street lighting, considering many streetlights are currently off. Dark alleyways are a danger for night workers, who come home in the shade of darkness.
07 – We ask Laboriaux to be included in PAC II.
08 – We ask you consider the importance of schooling for the community of Laboriaux, and ask you re-open the doors to Laboriaux’s municipal school, Abelardo Chacrinha Barbosa, whose installations are in perfect conditions, having been rebuilt in March 2010.
To Whom It May Concern
Residents of Laboriaux