Brazil

Sao Paulo favela goes up in flames

 
Around 1,200 people in Brazil's largest city Sao Paulo were left homeless earlier this week after a fire raged through a slum on September 3, destroying everything in its path. Our Observer, who filmed the blaze, describes the tragedy and how it has impacted an already impoverished community. Read more…
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The coolest favela in Rio may be sacrificed to make way for Olympics

 
Living in a “little corner of Paradise,” the residents of the favela Vila Autodromo in Rio are used to fighting against attempts to expropriate them. But with the 2016 Olympics on the horizon, the city authorities are eyeing this urban shantytown located in a zone with significant real estate potential. In the favela, a resistance movement is fighting back. Read more...
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Sao Paulo’s “Bicycle Library” brings books to the homeless

 
While wandering through the maze-like streets of Sao Paulo, you might come across Robson Mendonça and his red bicycle. But this is no ordinary bicycle. His ‘Bicycle Library’ is equipped with shelves holding more than 300 works that together weigh 150 kilograms. Read more...
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Forced eviction of squatted land sparks ‘urban war scenes’

 
For the eight years, over 6,000 people squatted on an abandoned chunk of land called Pinheirinho, in the city of Sao José dos Campos, 80 kilometres east of Sao Paolo, Brazil. On Sunday, security forces launched a surprise eviction operation, prompting furious residents to fight back. Read more…
 

Detainees forced to kiss on camera

 
Although the following video has been circulating on the Brazilian Web for several months, it has only recently come to the attention of authorities and human rights groups. It shows two handcuffed men in what appears to be a police station, forced to repeatedly kiss each other on the mouth as men in uniform stand jeering nearby. Read more and watch the video…

In wake of disaster, rush of citizen solidarity helps flood-hit communities

 
The violent mudslides that killed at least 739 people in the Serrano Mountain region near Rio di Janeiro on January 12 are considered the deadliest natural catastrophe on record in Brazil. But our Observer says some good came out of the crisis through the spontaneous show of solidarity in the aftermath of the disaster. Read more and watch the video...
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Close-up shot: Police take back Rio gangland

 
Police launched a massive anti-drug raid in the Rio di Janeiro shantytown of Vila Cruzeiro on Thursday, wrapping up five days of violent clashes between police and drug dealers that left at least 25 dead. Our Observers on the ground followed the operation and sent us their accounts, photos and videos. Read more…
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Lula da Silva 'endangered' alleged adulteress with asylum gesture

An Iranian woman who may be stoned to death for adultery charges has attracted worldwide attention, including that of Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva. Will it help her? Quite the opposite, one of our Tehran Observers explains. Read more...

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