12 March 2013


One of the problems and benefits of living in a non-native place is that there is the temptation to criticize without assuming responsibility. These criticisms tend to flow more fluidly from wealthier to less wealthy places (without wanting to use the word “developed”), consolidating pre-existing power dynamics with the danger of haughty righteousness and colonialist indignation ever present in the commentaries. Most societies have barbarous practices that need to be called out so that they can be changed. Sometimes, heinous acts such as bombing wedding parties with drones, activating a presidential kill list (it`s not called the executive for nothing!), or handing over trillions to bail out banks, reflect a perverse zeitgeist from which we need to fabricate a collective emergence.

On Sunday, three nearly simultaneous incidents may reflect the general state of things in Brazil. I hope that they are isolated, perverse incidents. They all speak to something terribly wrong.

In Rio, three adolescents between 11 and 14 were walking along the sidewalk near the posh Jockey Club. Apparently there had been some kind of theft inside the club and two or three members of a private security firm started after the boys. The older boys managed to jump the wall into the Jockey Club. Alan de Souza, 11, did not. Alan was taken in a van up near the Vista Chinesa where he had all of his fingernails and toenails pulled out before being shot twice in the head. One of the suspects in the torture and murder of an eleven year old boy is a member of the Rio Military Police. The story has disappeared from the headlines.

In Sao Paulo, a 21 year old was driving home from partying all night and was doing zig zags in his car along Avenida Paulista. As he was playing about, he ran into a 21 year old cyclist on his way to work. The collision severed the cyclist’s arm, which somehow ended up in the car. The driver did not stop to see what had happened, but sped away. Eventually he stopped, found the arm in the car and…threw it into a canal! He later turned himself in. Protesters on bikes filled Avenida Paulista on Sunday.

Back in Rio, there was an exhibition of a Formula One car on the Aterro do Flamengo. The event drew tens of thousands of people and also had as part of the exhibition other Ferrari cars zipping about. Eventually, one of the Ferrari drivers lost control and crashed into the crowd, hospitalizing three and terrifying many others. A multimillion dollar car taking up leisure space on the weekend is questionable. Cars doing tricks at 300 km\hr while people crowd against the road with no protection is begging for tragedy.

I don`t know exactly what these three events say about the value of human life and dignity in Brazil, but they will hopefully stimulate some critical self-reflection, prosecutions and high-profile court cases. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris.

Brazil is so well know for its people's sense of joie de vivre that I'm always shocked and saddened by how capable we are of the other extreme.

The disparity between classes obviously creates such a desperation that justifies any action. Dog eat dog.

Even if that boy had committed a crime it highlights the perverse nature of the ones that are to serve and protect. How many countless, out right massacres of street children have happened at the hands of the police? Ja perdi a conta. Sadly not an isolated incident.

How many hit and runs go unpunished? Tao triste que nao quero nem saber. Hello Thor Bastista.
Not an isolated incident.

It's amazing that despite the daily injustices in Brazil the people are still able to forge forward with life. Vai fazer o que?



2014 World Cup Rio de Janeiro Maracanã FIFA 2016 Olympics 2016 Summer Olympics Eduardo Paes CBF Copa do Mundo 2014 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Ricardo Texeira World Cup 2014 Vasco da Gama 2010 World Cup White Elephants mega-events APO UPP BRT Brazil football Flamengo Lula Orlando Silva violence ANT Aldeia Maracana Carlos Nuzman Dilma Eike Batista Rio 2016 Sergio Cabral 2007 Pan American Games Campeonato Carioca Corruption IOC Jerome Valcke Novo Maracanã stadiums BOPE BRASIL 2016 Brasil 2014 Engenhao Joao Havelange Maracana Policia Militar Vila Autódromo Aldo Rebelo Botafogo Henrique Meirelles Medida Provisoria Metro Revolta do Vinagre Sao Paulo Sepp Blatter World Cup 2010 forced removal Carnaval Elefantes Brancos Fechadao Marcia Lins Minerao Morumbi Odebrecht Porto Maravilha Rio+20 Romario Security Walls South Africa South Africa 2010 TCU Transoeste protests public money public transportation slavery transparency x-Maracana Andrew Jennings Argentina Audiencia Publica Barcelona Brazil Carvalho Hosken Comitê Popular Confederatons Cup Copa do Brasil 2010 Cost overruns Crisis of Capital Accumulation EMOP FERJ Favela do Metro Fluminense Fluminese Fonte Novo IMX Jose Marin Leonel Messi London 2012 Marcelo Freixo Maré Museu do Indio Olympic Delivery Authority Perimetral Rocinha Soccerex Transcarioca bicycles consumer society debt idiocy militarization transportation 1995 Rugby World Cup 2004 Olympics 2015 Copa America Banco Imobiliario Barcas SA Belo Horizonte Bom Senso F.C. Brasilerao CDURP CONMEBOL Champions League. Mourinho Complexo do Alemão Copa Libertadores Cupula dos Povos ESPN England FiFA Fan Fest Istanbul 2020 Jogos Militares John Carioca Kaka Manaus McDonald's Obama Olympic Village PPP Paralympics Providencia Recife Russia Salvador Soccer City Taksim Square Tatu-bola Urban Social Forum Vidigal Vila Olimpica War World Cup Xaracana attendance figures cities corrupcao drugs estadios football frangueiro futebol mafia planejamento urbano police repression porn privitization reforms shock doctrine taxes 201 2010 Elections 2010 Vancouver Olypmics 2013 2018 World Cup 2030 Argentina / Uruguay ABRAJI AGENCO ANPUR ANT-SP Amazonia Ancelmo Gois Andrade Gutierrez Anthony Garotinho Arena Amazonia Arena Pernambucana Athens Atlético Paranaense Avenida das Americas BID Barra de Tijuca Blatter Brasil x Cote d'Iviore Brasileirão 2013 Brasilia Brasilierao Bruno Souza Bus fares COB COI COMLURB CPI CPO Cabral Caixa Economica Canal do Anil Cantagalo Celio de Barros Cesar Maia Chapeu Mangueira Chile 2015 Choque do Ordem Cidade da Copa Class One Powerboat Racing Clint Dempsey Comite Companhia das Docas Copa do Brasil Corinthians Cuiabá Curitiba Dave Zrin David Harvey Der Spiegel Eastwood Edge of Sports Escola Friendenrich Expo Estadio Expo Urbano FGV Fonte Nova Gamboa Garotinho Geostadia Ghana Globo Greek Debt Crisis Greek Olympics HBO Hipoptopoma IMG IPHAN ISL Iniesta Internatinal Football Arena Invictus Istanbul Itaquerao Jacque Rogge Jefferson John Coates Jose Beltrame Julio Grondona Julio Lopes Julio de Lamare Knights Templar Korea Lei Geral da Copa MAR MEX Manchester United Mangabeira Unger Maracanã. Soccerex Marina da Gloria Mexico Milton Santos Molotov Cocktail Mr.Balls Neymar Nicholas Leoz Nilton Santos Olympic Flag Olympic Park Project Oscar Niemeyer Pacaembu Pan American Games Parque Olimpico Pernambuco Plano Popular Plano Popular do Maracana Plano Popular do Maracanã Play the Game Pope Porto Alegre Porto Olimpico Porto Seguro Portuguesa Praca Tiradentes Preview Projeto Morrinho Putin Qatar Quatar 2022 RSA Realengo Regis Fichtner Roberto Dinamite Russia 2018 SETRANS SMH Santa Teresa Santos Sao Raimundo Sargento Pepper Security Cameras Smart City Sochi 2014 South Korea Stormtroopers São Januário São Paulo Teargas Templars Tokyo 2020 Tropa do Elite II Turkey UFRJ/IPPUR URU USA USA! Unidos da Tijuca United States government Urban Age Conference VVIP Via Binário Victory Team Vila Autodromo Vila Cruzeiro Vila do Pan Vilvadao Vivaldao Volta Alice Wasteland Workers' Party World Cup 2018 Xavi Zurich apartments atrazos barrier beer bio-fuels bonde capacities civil society comite popular copa sudamericana crack crime dengue dictatorship estádios favelalógica feira livre fiador flooding freedom of information furos geral graffiti guarda municipal host city agreement identity infrastructure ipanema istoe labor rape riots schedule school shooting security segregation social movements stadium state of exception supervia tear gas ticket prices torcidas organizadas tourism traffic tragedy trash trem-bala velodromo wikileaks xingar