Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Beach War in Rio

The Associated Press reports, accurately, I have to presume, on a flare up between two rival favelas that played out on Rio's famous Ipanema Beach.

Quite quaint for Rio, actually: two groups smacking each other with beach chairs for 15 minutes or so. This in a city where rival gangs normally blast away at each other with assault rifles.

Still, to link this small brawl with the "arrastoes," or mass robberies, that have occurred occasionally in the past on the beaches is quite misleading. Also, to cite the "everyday violence of the slums" without noting that most of the homicides in the favelas are due to police shootings is downright irresponsible.

The drug gangs are terrible, but the police are worse.


Robert said...

this blog is juts fantastic grassroots truth-telling

massive respect!

rn said...


rn said...

I'll stand corrected by someone who was there.

The continued conflict between drug gangs is an awful reality of the favelas, and when it spills over onto Ipanema beach, that's horrible, too. There's no excuse for arrastoes, for committing acts of violence against innocents.

Still, as rapper MV Bill pointed out in the interview with the Guardian that I blogged about a while back, the dominant image on the favelas from films and in the newspapers makes them places of crime, drugs, and violence. That fundamentally misrepresents the reality and skews people's perceptions.