Rio World Cup demolitions leave favela families trapped in ghost townFrom the Guardian – Tom Phillips
Preparations for the World Cup and Olympics are bringing unparalleled development to Rio de Janeiro. But this development is creating a series of new problems which government officials had either never envisioned, or don’t care to attend to. In this story, Guardian correspondent Tom Phillips highlights the collateral damages caused by the forced evictions and preparations for the World Cup mega-events. Initially, residents in favela communities only had to worry about being evicted from their homes, and not being equally compensated for their troubles. But in recent months a new reality has taken hold.
According to Phillips, this particular favela was “founded by railway construction workers in the late 1970s, the Favela do Metrô, in north Rio, was until recently home to about 1,000 Brazilians. By the government’s count, 358 families have already been rehoused. About 320 remain, according to Francicleide da Costa Souza, president of the favela’s community association.”
One resident in the Favela do Metro neighborhood, Eomar Freitas was quoted as saying, “it looks like you are in Iraq or Libya. I don’t have any neighbors left. It’s a ghost town.”
An interesting perspective to Phillip’s story is the distrust of government reasons for demolitions and evictions. Though government officials argue removals are part of larger efforts to benefit from the increasingly valuable lands in the center of the city.
“The reasons for the favela’s demolition are disputed. Locals believe authorities plan to replace it with a car park for the nearby stadium, a story endorsed by one demolition worker.”