Subscribe to Americas Quarterly's free Week in Review newsletter and stay up-to-date on politics, business and culture in the Americas. This is particularly troublesome to read in light of the murder of Tim Lopes, an investigative reporter working for the Globo TV network while researching a story in another Rio slum, an incident she does not mention. The relatively recent trend of tourism in the favelas, the huge slums of Rio de Janeiro, perplexes many middle-class Brazilians who would rather leave the reality of poverty hidden from the eyes of foreign visitors. Ironically, Freire-Medeiros reports that most tourists want to visit Rocinha after having seen the film City of God , a harrowing depiction of violence and drug rule in the favelas. The author—like tourists who are instructed to look away and not take pictures of armed drug soldiers—does not understand or care to explain the mushrooming narcotics trade and its implications. Elias Maluco was arrested and sentenced to 28 years in prison. Poverty, theoretically, escapes this unavoidable fate, for it is impossible to buy it or sell it.
Giavanna. Age: 25.
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Amiyah. Age: 24.
Bianca Freire Medeiros
Gringo na laje captures the yearning of the residents of Rocinha to be accepted as full citizens, and how tourism helps to break their isolation. Some of them confessed to her they wanted to experience the thrill of being in a place like those shown in the movie. Since then, at least at the time this issue went to press, the constant shootouts between rival gangs and the police have been replaced by a deceitful peace, with the drug lords still ruling inside the favela and administering their brand of justice.