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Opinion, by Michael Kerlin

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Favelas feature prominently in the news about Rio’s preparations for the World Cup and Olympics. Haphazard cinderblock blankets draped over the city’s hills, they at once offer a hopeful emotional heartbeat and a menacing history of violence to the Cidade Maravilhosa.

One thing hundreds of thousands of favelados have in common are roots in Brazil’s northeast. Between 1950 and . . .

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