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many of the city’s poorer communities to pursue criminal gangs, as reportedly took place in February 2009 when riot police occupied the massive Paraisópolis favela. Ongoing violence in Brazil’s cities, with its roots in well-organised criminal gangs, official corruption and police belligerence, belies the nation’s position as one of the world’s most powerful economies. But — as reflected in the brutal, drug-related clashes between gangs and police in Rio de Janeiro in October 2009, just weeks after the city was awarded the 2016 Olympic Games — the violence will continue to damage the reputations of these cities, and the admirable progress they have made in terms of development, for the foreseeable future. Sources: Amnesty International. (2007). Amnesty International annual report 2007. New York: Author. BBC News. (2006, 26 September). Crime concerns of Brazil’s voters. Retrieved from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5316170.stm Clendenning, A. (2009, 3 February). Brazil police occupy São Paulo slum after clashes. Associated Press. Conselho Regional de Medicina do Estado de São Paulo. (2006, 13 June). Report of the Council. São Paulo: Author. Hanson, S. (2006, 26 September). Brazil’s powerful prison gang. Council on Foreign Relations backgrounder, Department of Investigation of Organized Crime. Retrieved from: http://www.cfr.org/publication/11542/brazils_powerful_prison_gang.html Independent Special Commission for the Public Security Crisis of São Paulo State. (2006, September). Report of the Commission. São Paulo: Author. Lehman, S. (2009, 3 July). Brazil prison guards nab pigeon with cell phone. Associated Press. Rohter, L. (2006, 30 May). Police are criticized in wave of gang violence in Brazil. The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www. nytimes.com/2006/05/30/world/americas/30brazil.html Soares, M. & McDonnell, P.J. (2009, 16 May). Inmates unleash a torrent of violence on Brazilian City. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from: http://articles.latimes.com/2006/may/16/world/fg-brazil16 Image: With kind permission from Douglas Engle

A disproportionate amount of crime and police action occur in favelas throughout Brazil.

Profile for UN-Habitat

Sao Paulo; A tale of two cities  

UN-HABITAT’s new Cities and Citizens series examines urban inequality in the developing world through in-depth analysis of intracity data de...

Sao Paulo; A tale of two cities  

UN-HABITAT’s new Cities and Citizens series examines urban inequality in the developing world through in-depth analysis of intracity data de...

Profile for unhabitat
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