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December 01, 2010

Comments

Tricia

Your tears were anything but inexplicable!

Sorry to hear about all the no-shows at the wedding. A good friend of mine canceled her daughter's birthday on Saturday because she said she just couldn't live with herself if something happened to someone en route to her event. From my end, the "news Carnaval" scared me more than anything else.

Good report =)

Julia

Fantastic post, Rachel, beautifully written. Sorry I didn't get to see you! Beijos

Account Deleted

Hi Rachel :)

I'm glad to know you managed to come back home safely after being in Rio's war zone.

I must say you're pretty brave for staying there until the end of your trip, if I were on your shoes I would've left as soon as the attacks started.

Also, the fireworks incident really made me laugh out loud hahaha!!

I'm looking forward to your next posts!

Um abraço,


Rafael.


Sara

Sigh. Thanks for the ground coverage. I'm hoping to return to Brasil next May or June for a month.

Rio Gringa

Thanks guys! @Julia, next time for sure. We were in Zona Sul only very briefly this time. A week was really not enough!

Marcio Bernardo

Oi Gringa, good to hear that you and your Brazilian family managed to stay safe though out all that.

Me and my wife followed the situation in Brazil by the hour over the phone and nternet, we found that you can watch GloboNews live which we did non stop on Saturday and Sunday

We went trough a wide range of emotions following the news... from sadness in the beginning of the terror campaign by the drug-gang, to worry for family and friends when it became clear that the attacks were increasing and becoming bolder, to amazement by the quick, massive and coordinated response by Rio's police and Federal Government, to hope when it showed that even the Favela community was supporting the police actions and finally even tough we are happy that the police was able to enter Complexo do Alemao without a major battle, which could have a large number of victims, the reports of police corruption and the "escape" of a large number of drug-gang members is deeply shameful (we are herring from family and friends from Rio - of Maid and doorman reports that large number of armed drug-gang member arrived on Favelas on Sunday)

It is a bit comforting that the Rio Government set-up an official channel for the Favela residents to complain and denounce police corruption and that they are adopting rules to try actively prevent abuses and corruption (just read on O Globo online version that regular police (military and civil) won't be allowed to go on duty on Complexo do Alemao with back-packs! nice one (only BOPE can carry back-packs for they have the reputation of being honest cops)

Regarding the news coverage I had very positive reaction, yes the bullet proof vest were terrible (particularly when interviewing far away from Complexo do Alemao) I think they were copying the American broadcast from war region but I though it was very positive. I think it helped to consolidate the population support for the police response and , in my mind, it prevent the police from going overboard on treating the community (were there is a huge number of hard working honest people) and even the handling of the gang-members, in the past brutality toward favelados and execution of gang members were way to common for a healthy society.

As you know the violence in Rio wasn't resolved on Sunday and drug-gang still control a large number of Favela communities in Rio and region so I'm a bit anxious regarding the possibility of large scale confrontation when they decide to install an UPP on Rocinha, Vidigal, Favela da Mare etc

Shay

OMG! The church! That is the church that I LOVE!!!

When I visited my boyfriend's home for the first time last month, it was one of the first things I noticed off in the distance. That church! I was in awe of it's beauty and how majestic it looked upon that hill. And at night it's glows gorgeous!

I told him that I want to go up there but we never made it this time..I'm going back in February and we are definitely going then. :)

By the way, I had been in Rio for 18 days, I left the Sunday night all of this started. Wow..was crazy to get back home the next day and then hear about all of this. My apt. was on Rue Gomes Carneiro, right in front of the Zona Sul and the General Osorio Square in Ipanema.

Steven

I visited Rio for the first time during a small part of this period, and want to share my (naive) perspective from the time. I've only visited Brazil once before (to Recife), have a modest understanding of Portuguese, and wasn't paying attention to the news before I arrived there from the U.S. We arrived on Friday (26th) and left on Monday. We were staying in Leblon and only visited the more touristy areas on the city (Ipanema, Copacabana, Centro, Corcovado, Pao de Acucar, etc). Of course, shortly after arriving we learned of what was going on. We saw lots of police around in all neighborhoods (of all varieties), and fortunately the only violence we saw was on the TV. Since I had little point of comparison, I couldn't tell you how much people avoided being out, although it did seem quieter than expected at the beach on a warm sunny Saturday. The restaurants we went to seem crowded, though. The goings-on didn't stop us from our plans, and at least to us the violence seemed "over there". Maybe sometimes ignorance is good. The "breaking news" was on quite a bit on TV, and again being somewhat ignorant of the whole picture, the news seemed a bit hyped, with all the reporters wearing bullet-proof vests, and even an overweight police official in the TV studio decked out in combat gear, even though I suspect it had been a while since he had been near any real action and was unlikely to be shot at in the studio. The thing that was most on my mind was the people in those neighborhoods who were in the middle of the "war" and were the ones who most likely were to be hurt or killed in the cross-fire.

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