City of God, Guns and Gangs
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City of God, Guns and Gangs

2011, Crime  -   22 Comments
7.31
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Ratings: 7.31/10 from 51 users.

It's one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and also one of the most dangerous. In the slums of Rio de Janeiro violent drug gangs operate with impunity, with no regard for human life. Now after decades of chaos, Brazilian authorities are attempting to restore order. They're using military-like force and a new approach to policing. This bold offensive is referred to as "pacification", but will it work, and can it work in time?

Rio is racing against the clock as both the World Cup and the Olympics come to town. With the games fast approaching we'll travel deep inside in some of Rio's 600 favelas, and we'll see what authorities are up against. We'll see a heart of a crack den and the men who rule with an iron fist. The battle for Rio is on, as the filmmakers take you inside the city of God, guns and gangs.

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most picturesque cities on Earth and it's easy to see why it's known as "Cidade Maravilhosa" - the Marvelous City. Rio arguably has more postcard views than most other cities combined. But Rio de Janeiro is also a city plagued by gross economic disparity. Rio is home to 600 slums, or favelas as they're known in Brazil. These shanty towns are often built right alongside the city's wealthiest neighborhoods.

One in five of the city's residents live in a favela, and many will tell you they feel like second class citizens. The government has little or no control over the slums of Rio, and over the decades, as officials look the other way, the favelas became a haven for drug traffickers. In a favela, it's now a commonplace for the media to capture images of teenagers wielding assault rifles, guarding the slums from outsiders and murdering anyone who gets in their way.

Rio security forces have on occasion led operations against the traffickers, but there's never been a concerted effort to dismantle their operations entirely... until now. Securing Rio de Janeiro has never been more important. In 2014 Brazil will host the World Cup and two years later the Olympics. The eyes of the world will be on Rio like never before.

Millions of tourists are already booking their tickets, and in response, the Brazilian government is pouring unprecedented resources into a new public security policy called "pacification." The mission over the next two years is to take back control of forty of Rio's biggest and most dangerous favelas, crashing once and for all the drug traffickers who run the streets there for far too long.

But bringing security to Rio and its favelas is dangerous business. It would be fair to say that Rio de Janeiro's drug traffickers are not eager to be "pacified." The "pacification" operation is not unlike the US military surge in Iraq. The idea here is to target areas where law enforcement has traditionally been nonexistent and sweep in with an overwhelming show of force.

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Kid
Kid
6 years ago

I WATCHED THIS IN SCHOOL SUSPENSION AND FELL ASLEEP

Lyon111
Lyon111
10 years ago

Brazil is indeed very beautiful, and I would love to go there, but I confess that I am afraid to spent a vacation there due to the high level of criminality everywhere, including on the best touristic spots. I do not know if I will ever go there, as I know how dangerous it is according to my Brazilian friends. Brazil has many problems to resolve, but I also know it has the seventh biggest economy in the world, and things are betting better every year with her considerable fast rate of development per year. One day Brazil will be on the top 3 economies for sure. Greetings from Portugal!

bringmeredwine
bringmeredwine
11 years ago

Unbelievable, the Brazilian government will spend millions to host the Olympics and the World Cup, but doesn't provide local infrastructures in the Favelas, or fund schools and hospitals.
It's as if the people of the Favelas are viewed by their own government as vermin that can be eradicated by an armed to the teeth police force.
What choice do these young people have, but to join gangs?. It's more exciting than becoming a priest or working in a sweat shop.It certainly pays more. There's obviously no birth control, no future, no hope in these Favelas.
Too bad the leaders of the drug cartels don't give back to these communities. They make their millions of the backs of the poor and send their own children to the best schools.
The young, gun-toting gang members die young, probably leaving behind babies and girlfriends.
More fodder for the drug cartels, and targets for the police.
I'm just rambling now-I'm gonna shut up and go get my stuff off the clothesline!

banished jester
banished jester
11 years ago

We need to learn to put up a store front for legitimate business rather than wasting money on thugs in uniforms. The government's prohibition is what fuels and ignites violence. And all for prohibiting a substance or substances that are going to be made and used regardless of how many dollars you throw at the problem.

We better get used to the many ways that people can behave and stop trying to forcefully change our nature. It affords us nothing but regret in the long run.

Don't involve government which drives things "undesirable" in society underground. Shadow games and taboo are not characteristic of a free society. Be the change.

Gabriel
Gabriel
11 years ago

this war on drugs would never be the solution to drug violence. Sure, the police may have reduced the number of murders, but eventually as seen in many countries, complacency in police force will take place and their realization that they have more control over the community will further fuel police corruption, then a bigger balloon of silent drug trafficking will take place - this, of course, would spring up a new breed of more sophisticated drug trafficking. But who are the new drug traffickers gonna be? wanna know? those little kids you see playing in the streets, so full of graced innocence but gradually and subconsciously being gravitated towards that crime life, because that's what they see when they wake up and go to sleep - mind you, everday! God help the world.

Lesley Mary Elizabeth Alve
Lesley Mary Elizabeth Alve
11 years ago

Great documentary and hats off to Mariana. Thats one brave lady confronting

the darkest parts of human nature and seemingly without too much fear. I would have been passing great logs of unmentionable things having to face up to that. Awesome lady !

I wish the people of Rio all the love and support they need to achieve their goals. It must be wonderful for them to see hope after such a long time of being captives to this horrific life style.

Lesley
Lesley
11 years ago

Great documentary and hats off to Mariana. Thats one brave lady confronting

the darkest parts of human nature and seemingly without too much fear. I would have been passing great logs of unmentionable things having to face up to that. Awesome lady !

I wish the people of Rio all the love and support they need to achieve their goals. It must be wonderful for them to see hope after such a long time of being captives to this horrific life style.

John
John
11 years ago

if the police killed all the children the problems would be solved in 20 years!

Sven from Belgium
Sven from Belgium
11 years ago

she says murders dropped 500%? What does that mean? Knowing math a little bit, I would think that if something drops 100% it would be down to 0, how can you drop over that?

oQ
oQ
11 years ago

Nothing seem to be able to stop Mariana van Zeller (Portuguese journalist), she is the perfect journalist for this great documentary.
It will be interesting to see how Rio changes because of the Olympics. I wish to go before it happens.
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