By Marcelo Duailibe, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The favela community Rocinha was pointed out as one of the top ten worst places to visit in 2012. According to the journalist Justin Delaney in a report by AOL/Huffington Post Blog, Gadling.com, the largest favela in Rio does have a “breathtaking view of Rio, but it is also home to several hundred thousand low income Brazilians packed onto a steep lawless hillside.”
“It is a playground for modern day little Li’l Zes.,” says Desnaley on a reference to a drug dealer from the Oscar’s nominated Brazilian movie Cidade de Deus (City of God), by Fernando Meirelles.
The Secretary for Tourism in Rio, Ronald Ázaro, thinks it is “strange” Rocinha was included in the list, together with Ciudad Juarez, in Mexico, Port au Prince, Haiti, and Mogadishu, in Somalia. “The place has had a high demand of visitors even before the military operation.” he said. Those numbers have grown up even more now.
The military operation and pacification of Rocinha in November 2011 was a milestone for the strategy against drug traffic in Rio de Janeiro. Located Zona Sul (South Zone), an area of the city with high through-traffic and surrounded by high mountains and forests, the areas had long been a strong hold for drug gangs.
During the last year it was also thought to be a hideout for fugitives from the Complexo do Alemão favela, which was occupied with a military pacification force in a violent campaign which started in November 2010.
With the recent Rocinha occupation, however, the place reportedly has started to receive more locals and tourists, attracted by their large baile funk parties, inexpensive restaurants and unbeatable view of the city.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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