Forced Removals Because of Olympics Causes Problems

Jorge Bitter

The situation in Rio de Janeiro, and it’s preparations for the World Cup and Olympic games, is reaching a fever pitch. The forced removals have continued to go on without much of an eyebrow raised from the International Community. Though some organizations have continued fighting for the right’s of citizens in these communities their words have become a chorus of silent dissent. Most of these projects, which are only being built for an event that will last 3 weeks, will have repercussions on the city that won’t be determined for years to come.

Rio Bus Transit Map
The map shows the BRT lines that will cross the city

“What we do is not forced eivctions, it is housing policy. There are some that are unhappy, which is natural. Suppose I go and build an expressway that passes through your house and ask you if you prefer the project or not, which improves the city transportation system, or leave it for a later date so that it doesn’t mess with your home. Of course you’d rather stay in your house, but we have to think of the population in the public interest.”

– Municipal Housing Secretary Jorge Bittar

Everything got worse for me, the life I had was in Recreio – church, work, everything. After I moved I was without a church, the traffic has worse, my neighbors had all moved away. Those next-door neighbors I knew, I  have no more ”

– Maria da Conceição Apolinário da Silva, former resident of Vila Recreio II who had their house destroyed.

“Butchering a community on account of a game 27 days I think a great injustice. Their desire is to remove and our desire is to stay.”

– Altair Antunes Guimarães, president of the residents association of Vila Autódromo

Never has the situation been worse than the present. This situation has nothing to do with the house, the size, but it also involves access to infrastructure, equipment, education, health, recreation, job opportunities, income ”

-UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik

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