Rio’s War on the Poor: A Tale of Two Cities

Given the stark difference between official pronuncements, and the dangerous militarized reality in Rio de Janeiro, it is instructive to take a closer look.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Residents of Rio de Janeiro – even observers abroad – could be forgiven for experiencing some cognitive dissonance lately. The problem seems to lie in the patently irreconcilable interpretations promoted by multiple official sources, news media accounts and, often, the evidence of our own eyes, concerning what constitutes objective urban reality.

It seems, at the very least, to be a tale of two (distinct) cities.

On the one hand, public authorities – no less than the Governor and the President – are presenting a vision of a city that, if not exactly embodying the best of times, is certainly enjoying . . .

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