Yesterday the daily newspaper “Jornal do Brasil”, published an editorial, titled: “Os ‘césares’ do Rio, uma cidade em chamas” (The ‘Caesars’ of Rio, a city in flames) about the actual situation in Rio de Janeiro, less than 50 days before the official opening of the World Cup 2014. I take the liberty to give a freely translated version of the editorial, adding some two cents of my own. Here it is:
While exclusive Copacabana experiments a night of panic protests in the favela Pavão Pavãozinho, nearby Niterói faces a wave of crime, and drugs traffickers are arrested in Búzios, furthermore there are violent confrontations in the favela complexes of Maré, Alemão and Rocinha leaving the population to the mercy of bullets from rifles, while the mainstream media still insists on treating the favela communities of Rio as “pacified”. It looks more like a cynical mockery of the carioca (habitant of Rio).
Rio de Janeiro is far from being pacified, the favela communities of Rio are far from experimenting moments of peace. On the contrary. They are terrorised by violence, crime and abuses that the local government don’t seem to be able to quell.
The too-late appeal of the mayor of Niterói asking a solution of the security authorities after the wave of crime has left victims in the city, is rather pathetic and irresponsible. After the door is kicked in, it’s useless to attach locks.
The minimum answer to those who had relatives killed is a forceful action. An action against an authority that has to acknowledge that it is incompetent to govern. The dead don’t come back, and their families have to mourn their loss for the rest of their lives.
A picture of one of the greatest Brazilian cartoonists summarized, on Wednesday, the moment in which Rio lives. A pained Christ the Redeemer appears in a sombre environment, surrounded by flames and black smoke, next to the stadium Maracanã.
In fact, Rio is burning, as was Rome of Caesar. And these gentlemen, who celebrated when the city won the right to host the Olympics, have not the competence to prevent the city from catching fire and hence reveal to the world, on the eve of the world events, its true face.
In the middle of all these violent and destructive protests, there also are some ludic ones. They might be ludic, but don’t make the mistake to think that they aren’t serious. The one below is very ludic, although, inevitably, called vandalism by the authorities. But I doubt a lot of cariocas see it that way.
During the Easter weekend one of the wagons of the train of the SuperVia line in Rio was spray-painted as protest against the FIFA. It’s a clear demonstration that the FIFA, and with it the World Cup, isn’t overly welcome in Brazil.
Of course the police are investigating and the train has already been cleaned and returned in circulation. Nothing to see anymore, but it had its impact.
source: Jornal do Brasil and O Globo