Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rio Rocks - By Rolling Its Poor?

So, South America is to host its first-ever Summer Olympics! Rio celebrates its selection
the immense statue of Rio Cristo RedentorImagine that! Rio de Janeiro hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup, followed in Aug.2016 by the Summer Olympics and the Summer Paralympics (Sept.)! The football tournament will be an ideal test for the infrastructure of Ronaldo's hometown, although huge numbers of partygoers are nothing new to the city reknowned for its legendary annual Rio Carnival!
What tourists often don't see are Rio's more impoverished areas: many thousands of poor in slums perched on unstable hillsides, with limited sanitation and intermittent electricity. Muggings, murder and narco-terrorism are rampant in these areas...bringing the city's death rate to nearly 40:100,000. And its lowly-paid police force is often part of the problem.
Rio at night...what a sight!This is a golden opportunity for Brazil to polish the image of its jewel city, by not only creating new sport, accomodation and transport facilities, but also making real efforts to improve the lives of its "underclass”.
It is hoped the country does far more for its poor than what Beijing's bulldozers did for the 2008 Olympics. But already Rio is building an 11km. concrete and steel wall ...the part of Rio they don't want you to see!to encircle the shantytowns and separate them from the wealthy suburbs. Officials say it’s an ‘eco-barrier’ to protect the rainforest from further encroachment by the surrounding slums - Brazilian human rights groups call it ‘social apartheid’.

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