Brazil – The dark side of the Games

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The Olympics 2016 that Rio de Janeiro is preparing to host will be an evil for many of its poorest inhabitants. Estate speculation and forced evictions, indeed, are driving many families to leave their homes. In the “pacified” favelas of South Rio, the city area where high-class carioca and tourists live, average rents have grown to four times higher than prior to the occupation of the areas by the Unidade de policia pacificadora (UPP). To clear space for new infrastructures, the Secretaria Municipal de Habitacao (SMH) is fulfilling the demolition of entire communities. The building of a new Olympic Park on the Jacarepagua lagune shores will involve the eviction of Vila Autodromo. This 40-years fishermen community has been surrounded in the latest years by luxury condominiums, whose value will grow if Vila will be removed. Vila Autodromo has thus become a symbol thanks to the resistance of its inhabitants, which are setting forth an alternative plan that could set a precedent in future developments and bolster resistance to evictions across the city.

Vila Autodromo fishermen dropping nets in the Jacarepagua lagoonMaracana stadium third restructuring over the last five yearsMorro dos Prazeres favela, Santa Teresa neighborhoodVila Pan, built on the occasion of the Panamerican Games 2007 and now almost completely desertedVila autodromoDemostrations against forced evictions in front of Rio MunicipalityInside Pavao favela, Copacabana neighborhoodUpp headquarters at Santa Marta favelaPiscinao at Ramos favelaInalva Brito Mendes coordinates the cadaster of Vila Autodromo inhabitantsIn the Santa Marta favela, Botafogo neighborhood, house rentals have quadruplicated after pacificationMorro da Provencia, oldest favela in Rio, subject to partial removal due to docks area restructuringVolunteers of Rio de Janeiro Federal University work out a new urbanistic project for Vila AutodromoATMs and credit cards have arrived in Santa MartaMarcelo, who works at Observatorio de favelas ngo The wall erected along Avenida Brasil to hide the Complexo da Maré favelasSanta Marta favela, Botafogo neighborhoodInside Morro dos Prazeres favela, Santa Teresa neighborhoodComite Popular Copa e Olimpiadas Rio de JaneiroDebating about forced evictions in Rio de Janeiro Camera dos VereadoresOne of Morro da Providencia favela houses marked for demolition by Secretaria Municipal de Habitacao (SMH)The wall erected along Avenida Brasil to hide the Complexo da Maré favelasVila PanGateway to Santa Marta favela, Botafogo neighborhoodMorro dos PrazeresGateway to Pavao favela, Copacabana neighborhoodThe new cableway in Santa Marta favelaThe new Vila Olimpica along the shores of Jacarepagua lagoonView of Santa Marta favela and Pao de Azucar from Corcovado hill topRestructuration works in the docks areaPavaozinho favela, Copacabana neighborhoodConference organized by Observatorio de favelasFree karate class in Morro do Cantagallo favela, Copacabana, organized by local UPPPavaozinho favela, Copacabana neighborhoodOne of Vila Autodromo houses marked for demolition by Secretaria Municipal de HabitacaoCadaster of Vila Autodromo inhabitantsBuilding site of Transcarioca, the new highway connecting Rio international airport to Jacarepagua lagoon

Vila Autodromo, una comunità di pescatori che da 40 anni vive in riva alla laguna di Jacarepagua, è divenuta il simbolo della lotta contro le rimozioni forzate che stanno accompagnando Rio de Janeiro verso le Olimpiadi che ospiterà nel 2016. Circondata da lussuosi condomini, che negli ultimi anni sono spuntati come funghi sulle rive della laguna, Vila Autodromo resiste ai tentativi di sgombro già dall’epoca dei Giochi Panamericani 2007. Oggi, nei piani del governo la comunità dovrebbe sparire per far posto a un futuristico Parco Olimpico. Dietro ai continui tentativi di rimozione si nascondono gli interessi della potente lobby dei costruttori carioca, “grandi elettori” del sindaco Eduardo Paes.

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