"Shoot first, ask questions later" - Brazil's 'displacement decathlon' in view of the Olympic Games 2016

Although published one year ago, the article still plays a crucial role uncovering how the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro's favelas are dominated by constant human rights violations.
Today, the importance of the abuses against the mainly black, male and poor people is enormous, as we are only five month away from the inauguration of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Due to the fact that millions of people from all over the world will either be travelling to Rio in August, or will be following the event from elsewhere, an invisible social cleansing mission has cost and continues to cost thousands of victims. The vast majority of these abuses are not investigated or brought to justice and so it seems as if the voice of the people living in the marginalized and extremely poor favelas has no value and is systematically silenced by the authorities. Of the total homicides registered in Rio de Janeiro over the past five years, 16% turned out to be the result of unnecessary and excessive police brutality. However, most cases remain invisible for the broader public, or are filed as “resistance followed by death” for which the responsible officer will not be charged.
Rio de Janeiro is widely known for being a city that has two faces: an impressive, glamorous and tourist-friendly face and one that is ruled by poverty and repressive police intervention and has a rather deterrent effect on international visitors. In view of the Olympics this year, Brazil is trying to sanitize the city for an event that lasts about sixteen days, leaving behind “a trail of suffering and devastation” for much longer than that.


Date Published: 

Monday, August 3, 2015