Abandoned by the authorities for decades, dominated by the drug trade, subject to pressure and oppression from all sides. Suddenly, the dream of a better life: a Police Pacification Unit (UPP) is installed in the community, with the promise that life would be better, without violence, working hard toward the objective of propagating peace.
At the same, amid the lanes and alleys, residents are suffering from threats, oppression, beating and torture, as theJ ornal do Brasil reported during the investigation into the disappearance of construction worker Amarildo and as Fantástico reported this Sunday.
Workers headed off to work are being constrained, persons are being treated as suspects and treated as no human being should be. Residents are faced with shock-troop tactices, with tasers to the face, beatings, choking and pepper spray. All of this becuase after a hard week on the job, workers like to go out and celebrate with friends.
We cannot stand this oppression, we need our freedom. We are human bings, we deserve respect. Enough with farces for the media to film. Let us be realistic. Enough of pretending to ignore what everyone knows: Fear is not how we are going to arrive at a better place.
We should recall that change and transformation should come before arrests and deaths. Change will only come through education. No one can learn from a smack in the face and a session of suffocation.
Is this the pacification policy of governor Sérgio Cabral? Is ths the path for transforming Marvelous Rio? Is this the model of a community that the president requested from the Governor?
*Davison Coutinho, 23, a Rocinha resident since birth. Degree in industrial design from PUC-Rio; member of the residents committees of Rocinha, Vidigal and Chácara do Céu; a professor, writer, designer community leader and employee at PUC-Rio.
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