"We can't work just to pay the electric bill," complained José Hilario dos Santos, president of the Residents Association of Morro de Santa Marta, a favela or shantytown embedded in Botafogo, a traditional middle-class neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro.
Tuchinha was once a drug lord in Rio de Janeiro’s Mangueira favela. But today he is helping youngsters in this Brazilian city turn their lives around and leave behind crime, prison and the likelihood of an early death.
Opinions are divided in Morro da Providência, Brazil's oldest favela, over construction works for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. While some residents are optimistic about the improvements that lie ahead, others point out that hundreds of dwellings will be demolished.
The “pacification” of the favelas in this Brazilian city, aimed at driving out armed groups and fighting drug trafficking, has not yet become a fully effective public policy, says Eliana Sousa Silva, who has lived in one of Rio’s shantytowns for nearly 30 years.