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Rio's transformation needs new phase

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Cariocas are increasingly proud of their city. Their mental map of it is changing.

A great deal has been accomplished since Rio began its turnaround in 2007. After five disastrous decades, it’s as if we’ve managed to clear away piles of rubble in the last four years, and set up a generally acceptable and peaceable modus vivendi.

But the time has come to dig deeper, to bring in the bulldozers, and pour solid foundations for institutions that can withstand the vagaries of Brazilian politics. Success on this front would lead Rio to make an important contribution to the development of Brazil’s democracy, which dates only to 1985.

What has been accomplished

Crimes targeted by the new public safety policy continue to drop. The number of police pacification units continues to grow, with the current eighteen expected to jump to 28 by October, when ten units will set up in the Alemão and Penha favela complexes.

And, according to state Social Assistance and Human Rights Secretary Rodrigo Neves, Rocinha favela – together with Vidigal, a glaring reminder to the city’s South Zone that most of Rio’s 600-plus favelas still lie outside the state’s full domain – will soon be occupied and pacified.


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