Friday, October 28, 2005

City of water tanks

This photo, taken by jj, a correspondent who was born and raised in Rocinha, shows a forest of caixas d'agua--water tanks--on the rooftops of Rocinha. Jj is 19, and is studying English and teaching ju jitsu in the favela. He likes Rocinha, and says that he once tried to live in the ritzy Barra da Tijuca, but found that people there were not friendly once they found out he was from Rocinha.

Of Rocinha's reputation as a dangerous place, he says: "I think we have 300,000 people and maybe only 200 are they very bad ones....We in Rocinha make very little money. We do not buy the drugs." The drug dealers, he says, cater to middle class/rich people. If these outsiders stopped buying, the traffickers would be out of work.

He also notes something that I have written about: that the drug dealers invest in the community. The police are much more disruptive, and do not distinguish between law abiding residents and dealers. "We favelados do not like the police. They come in shooting everybody and innocents get killed. The traficantes, we understand, are doing bad things, but not to us."

Thanks, jj. Please keep us posted on daily life in Rocinha.

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