Rio de Janeiro slums as West Bank

rio slum
The Dona Marta slum in Rio, Brazil. Gregg Newton/Reuters

Subtopia (“A Field Guide to Military Urbanism”) on Brazil’s plans to clean up those Rio slums by walling them off, militarizing them, and creating protected enclaves for the wealthy.

When the tough get going, well, you know what they do, they do what most governments do – they wall it off, right? That’s Brazil’s old but new plan to help “reform” the “gang-plagued slums” encrusting the hillsides of Rio.

Naturally, the city would not lower itself to actually speak to the slum dwellers about what they might want. Because helping the poor isn’t their goal. Instead, they plan to isolate the slum and send in the police to eliminate anything that opposes them.

The police in Rio killed 1,330 people in 2007. Makes LAPD look like Little Miss Sunshine, doesn’t it?

As someone who has great interest in seeing these communities develop, Rio, taking on the complexions of a more long term Israeli-style occupational tactic for conquering the slums, looks like it might slowly be turning into a Latin version of the West Bank more and more these days.