The peaceful rollout of some 3,000 Brazilian troops and cops into Rio's Rocinha slum was a PR success for the Rio government, writes guest blogger Rachel Glickhouse, but it left many wondering why such a massive operation with such intensive media coverage was necessary.
Early Sunday morning, 3,000 police and soldiers arrived in Rocinha, the biggest slum in Rio, all of Brazil, and even Latin America, to begin the process of pacification. They arrived heavily armed, some in armored tanks. By the afternoon, troops hoisted the state and national flags, declaring the favela under state control. The massive operation met no resistance, and not a single shot was fired.
As some predicted, the occupation was peaceful. Rocinha, after all, does suffer from violence, but less in comparison to other favelas, notably Complexo do Alemão, which is known as Rio's "Gaza Strip." Rocinha is also a place constantly frequented by outsiders: Cariocas from around the city for funk parties, foreigners and Cariocas working for local NGOs, and tourists. Since the initial occupation was mostly uneventful, it left many wondering why such a massive operation with such intensive media coverage was necessary.
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