The history of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro begins in the final years of the nineteenth century as Brazil transitioned from an empire to a republic. As the nation continued to undergo dramatic political changes throughout the course of the twentieth century, the slums of its second largest city grew in size and number, in turn experiencing significant changes of their own. Initially, these communities were loosely incorporated squatter settlements that sprang up organically in order to house internal migrants and itinerant laborers. As they became more numerous and increasingly populated by a burgeoning urban underclass, favela residents began to organize internally, forming associações de moradores, or residents? associations. These organizations served as forums for deliberating matters of community governance, in addition to acting as liaisons between favelados (favela residents) and the prefeitura (city hall). Since the city and state governments failed to extend many public services to the favelas, community members, led by their local associations, banded together to provide sanitation, medical care, and transportation to their friends and neighbors.
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How is power distributed in the federal government
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Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan - US EPA
In addition to the reduction of poverty, the ostensible primary reason for the construction of public housing, it is clear that real estate interests pressured policy makers to pursue an aggressive course of favela eradication in the 1960s and 70s. Many favelas were located on precious inner city land in Rio?s most affluent neighborhoods, making them ripe territory for lucrative commercial and residential construction ventures. As arch-conservative military generals usurped power from the progressive statesman João Goulart on a national level, state and city politics, led by the pugnacious former journalist Carlos Lacerda, became more draconian as well. Over the next two decades, the state government undertook a large-scale slum removal program paired with a massive relocation effort in which displaced favelados were settled in public housing compounds located on the city?s periphery.
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Several communities were successful in resisting government removal attempts through grassroots organizing. The triumphs of Vidigal, Brás de Pina, Jacarézinho, and Santa Marta display the power of solidarity, perseverance, and ingenuity when few other resources were available. Residents of numerous other communities were ultimately unable to resist removal, but the extent of their defiance was remarkable considering the very limited power they wielded against the federal government of Brazil. Although successful resistance did not engender radical changes in government policy toward favelas ? most were entirely neglected after eradication was fully abandoned ? it represented a significant step in the favelados? hard-fought battle to be recognized as the rightful residents of their chosen plots of land. These resistance efforts, whether successful or not, attest to the power of community organizing and coalition building, and firmly established a foundation for the thriving grassroots political culture that exists in many favelas today.
Fear of the Federal Government in the Ranchlands of …
As the Brazilian government gradually moved away from military rule and toward democracy in the early 1980s, the country increasingly became an important hub in the international trade of illicit drugs. By the middle of that decade, favela residents were no longer contending with eviction and relocation, but had only traded that threat for another, that of drug violence and violent police repression. By 1985, not only had Rio de Janeiro become the country?s most important export node for drugs from the Andean regions to the United States and Europe, it had developed a sizeable local consumer market for cocaine that had been virtually non-existent in prior years. Despite a national political recalibration from authoritarianism to democratic governance, levels of violence skyrocketed in the 1980s and 90s, to the point where Brazil has often been considered the world?s most violent nation not in a state of war. At the peak of drug-related violence in 1994, Rio?s homicide rate was about seven times higher than the nation?s rate in 1979, during the military regime. Bearing the brunt of this upsurge in violence were the poor, mostly non-white youths of the city?s slums. Currently, the young black Carioca is more than twice as likely to be the victim of a homicide than white citizens of his age group.