After Rio Governor Sergio Cabral promised a crack down on drug gangs, the drug gangs responded with violent incidents around the city. Now Brazil's President has weighed in with a new plan: bring in the gringos! That's right: President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced that the government would bring tourist hotels and inns to the Rocinha neighborhood of Laboriaux, which hangs over the top of Gavea, one of Rio's wealthiest communities. Lula's plan also includes "construction of roads, creches, hospitals and a convention centre in Rocinha," The Guardian reports.
There are, of course, lots of items that seem not to have been addressed in this plan. Among them:
1. The neighborhood already has roads and creches.
2. What will happen to the people evicted for these developments?
3. Will there be rules to restrict rent increases in the newly formalized favela?
4. Who will develop all these things? Will the longstanding residents truly benefit?
5. Why only Rocinha? Rio has 700 other favelas. Rocinha is actually the most urbanized and knitted into the city's fabric. A cynic might say it's because Rocinha is closest to some of the city's ritziest neighborhoods.
Rocinha residents (or Rio residents) who read this: please tell us what you think.