Thursday, November 17, 2005
You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!
"Can't too much go wrong next to a big statue of Jesus," said one member of the church, James Nelms, 23.
The idea of remoção is nothing new to Rio de Janeiro, where nearly 20% of the population, a million people, now live in about 750 slums. During the 19th century, town planners forced thousands from the slums of central Rio in a bid to turn the city into a "tropical Paris". In the 1960s, the politics of removal again came to the fore as favelas were bulldozed in the city's south zone and their residents sent to the housing projects on its outskirts. Forgotten by the city's politicians, many of the projects, like Cidade de Deus or City of God, underwent a process of favelização or "favelisation", and are now controlled by drug-trafficking gangs.