• Pages

  • Marginalia

  • Accumulations

  • Advertisements

Field of Faith | After the Flood


There are serious accusations of irregularities: the improper concession of environmental licenses, the use of toxic residue  as part of the landfill; the use of public funds allegedly to benefit the owner of the tract of land, and even the use of militia to expel local residents

Monnerat confirmed that late last year, Investigation 396/12 was begun in order to investigate charges of  irregular division of lands, off-the-book landfill construction and the presence of militia in the region.

Faces were red when an enormous tract of landfill, possibly contaminated with medical waste, was used to build a vast field for the Pope’s World Youth Day closing mass.

The event wound  up having to be moved to Copacabana Beach. See

An important entrepreneurial force behind the undertaking was a colorful Rio character known as the Bus King for his near-monopoly over bus concessions in the city. Remember that name: The Bus King.

Since the end of World Youth Day, two things have happened: (1) the mayor of Rio has foumd it necessary to insist that no public money was used to build the immense mud pit and majestic stages of the Field of Faith, and (2) the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro wants to destine the land for “housing for the poor.”

First, the mayor.

Source: Terra

Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes, denied this Friday (July 20) that public funds were invested in the construction of the Field of Faith, in Guaritiba, in the Western Zone, where the vigil and closing mass of World Youth Day were to be held.

“Not a cent of public money was spent, whether from the city, state or federal governments. All of the funds came from the Organizing Committee and the Church. These will explain the matter at the proper time. I am not going to be the one who tells you about how much things cost or how much was left unspent. All I can say is that the city government was not involved,” said Paes.

Paes said the public sector participated as a supporter of the event and made some improvements to the infrastructure of … the neighborhood.

Guaratiba is a region with a population of some 110,000 and has one of the lowest IDH — Indices of Human development — in the city. finishing in 118th place out of 126 regions.


The story so far, then: The Church and the local organizing committee — and who was on that, by the way? There was almost zero disclosure — take one of the worst slums in the city and attempt to build the Civitas Dei there amid the pandemic mud and  the flood and the blood and the beer.

Now, the landfill, created  by the Bus King — he monopolizes muni bus collectives — is to be used as a site for low-income housing. Read on.

Source: Terra Brasil

The Field of Faith (Campus Fidei) will become a neighborhood destined for the poor, the archbishop of Rio, dom Orani Tempesta, announced on Sunday, during World Youth Day.

“We are proposing that a neighborhood called Field of  Faith be built,” without giving details except to say that investment in the area will go to the poor.

Excuse me if I am obtuse, but was the area not already destined for — and occupied by — the poor?

And now that I think about it, what happened to residents during the construction of the Field of Faith? Will they return? To what will they return?

The Church and its local organizing committee — most of whom are not named on the event’s Web site –may have made a major mistake selecting the Western Zone as an allegory of upward material and spiritual mobility.

In charge of the Housing Department is a certain Sister Graça Maria.

This department works on identifying and mapping out housing locations for the pilgrims. These locations will include, but are not limited to: high schools, clubs, religious houses, and family homes.

“We will be having meetings in the vicariates with the coordinators assigned by each parish,” stated Sister Graça Maria, head of the department. There will also be a special initiative for pilgrims with special needs.

In sum: Someone who seems to be in charge — in fact, it was the city government —  gently moves you off your squat in order to build majestic stages for the final mass of WYD.

At the last minute, they move the final mass because, as you know all too well but they have no idea, the area floods like mad.

And now the same persons who seemed to be in control are proposing … just imagine!  — that you move back into the same neighborhood — if there is space for you.

No one has released any but the most abstract plans for this white elephant, but the general pattern for public housing projects is to reduce the number of residents.

Ricardo Gama: A Case for the Police

I will let Ricardo Gama explain why the conduct of the Bus King is “a matter for the police.”

Campus Fidei in Guaratiba, built by Jacob Barata, is a criminal scheme. The location had been chosen for the site of the closing mass.

The case is a horrific one, involving serious accusations against not only Governor Cabral but also Mayor Paes and the business mogul  Jacob Barata.

There are serious accusations of irregularities: the improper concession of environmental licenses, the use of toxic residue  to build up the landfill;,the use of public funds allegedly to benefit the owner of the tract of land, and even the use of militia to expel local residents.

A detail: the curious thing about the choice of the site, which was in no condition to receive the event, was chosen personally by mayor Eduardo Paes, and — another detail — was owned by  Jacob Barata, who ended up profiting a great deal.

This is a scandal, but the Rio press acts like they have already forgotten it.

From O Dia

Rio – The Environmental Protection Division of the State Police and its counterpart in the state prosecutor’s office, will take statements next week from the owners of Villa Mar Construction, in charge of creating the Vila Mar de Guaratiba  condominium in part of the area where the Field of Faith was built, in Guaratiba.

Prosecutor Christiane Monnerat, in an interview with radio CBN, the area is a Permanent Protection one and cannot suffer any sort of intervention.

Monnerat confirmed that late last year, Investigation 396/12 was begun in order to investigate charges of  irregular division of lands, off-the-book landfill construction and the presence of militia in the region. Christiane said she cannot imagine how Field of Faith could be installed at this location.

[Caption] Having rained all week, the area destined for the Field of Faith was full of mud: lack of planning and disorganization.

The landfill takes up 1.8 million cubic meters intended for the installation of the Field. This corresponds to at least one-third of the extent of Vila Mar, one of whose partners is a top Rio bus concession mogul, Jacob Barata Filho.

According to the environmental license application No. E-07/502979/20, of the INEA, to which O DIA had access, the total area involved is 5.7 million square meters — an area larger than Ipanema.

The locale is divided into 351 blocks and 11,628 lots, most of them 300 or 360 square meters.

Again according to this document: Area 2, where part of the Campus was located, is destined for the My Home My Life in partnership with the Rio city government.

The prosecutor also stated that because it deals with APP, any license issued was issued in an irregular fashion. Along with the partners in the construction company, prosecutors will hear from representatives of the municipal environmental secretary and the INEA,

This Saturday, mayor Eduardo Paes said he was informed about the manguezal ecosystem at the location, but authorized the event nevertheless.


The Estado reports that organizers were warned about risks at the site by the Army some months before the event.

Source: Roberto Godoy – O Estado de S.Paulo

Three months ago the Army raised the possibility of difficulties with the Guaratiba grounds in the event of intense rains. An officer close to the security detail for the Pope says the issue was covered, informally, in meetings with persons from the city government and other areas — including the Archdiocese.

The strongest argument was that the Force knew the ground very well, including its enormous deposits of porous clay …

In addition, the location, a tract ,measuring 1.1 million square meters, is known by local residents as the “big swamp.” The very name of Guaritiba is suggestive: Guara is a long-legged bird with red plumage, typical of the manguezal ecosystem, whose colony — tiba –occupied the Field of Faith in the first years of the 20th century.

City technical experts made a point of saying that preparations included a plan for a drainage system.  They also said that  in July, a winter month, rain is scarce and not very stong.

Church representatives raised no formal objections to the choice of location — their only demand was that the location be close to poor communities lacking in public services.

They apparently found such a community and simply wiped it out.

It rained for four days and the location of the principal events — the vigil and the final mass, on Saturday and Sunday, respectively — wound up transferred to Copacabana. More than 3 million attended both celebrations.