The Cry

Walls around the favelas

9 December 2009

So there has been this proposal for some time now about building walls around the favelas in Rio de Janeiro. Most of these walls are being built in the Zona Sul (or wealthier beach side) section of the city. Essentially these walls are building up a barrier between the very wealthy and very poor of Brasil. This of course raises questions about injustice, government corruption and silencing of the weak or those lacking influence. The government states that this plan was create to protect Rio’s Atlantic forest from ever encroaching slums.

CNN recently did a video piece about these walls,  interviewing both people who living in the favelas as well as state officials.  Check it out:

From my somewhat limited knowledge on the topic, I would have to lean in favor of the environment. Favelas by nature are squatter communities and have little or no regulation to where or how far up a mountain a house can be built. I’m sure there is a better way this could have been done, but saying these walls are making prisoners of the residents is an overreaching argument.

2 Responses to “Walls around the favelas”

  1. Jacqueline says:


  2. Jenna says:

    I agree. Looking at pictures of Rocinha from a few years ago to now, it’s quite obvious that the slum population has boomed…with the result being that a great deal of forest has been removed, placing all the slum residents at an even greater risk of mudslides, etc…

    Not to mention making it even more difficult to provide basic services when they’re perched precariously at the top of a mountain.

    Not sure what a good solution is, though.

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