Brazil police’s takeover of slums from gangs is a mixed blessing / Vincent Bevins

A so-called pacification initiative drives out drug gangs and helps bring in development, but other types of crime have risen.

At a massive party put on by the Amigos dos Amigos gang a while back, dozens of teenagers wearing nothing but sandals, swim trunks and comically oversized assault rifles provided security.

Partygoers casually snorted cocaine off tables set up in the plaza at the Rocinha favela and waved guns in the air as they danced. If neighbors didn’t like the bass-heavy electronic music pumping until the early hours, they had little recourse: Rocinha was a Neverland-like world where boys were kings and the state was far, far away.  SEE MORE…

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