Not negotiable: a World Cup shame in Rio’s favelas


« I am particularly worried about what seems to be a pattern of lack of transparency, consultation, dialogue, fair negotiation, and participation of the affected communities in processes concerning evictions undertaken or planned in connection with the World Cup and Olympics,” said Raquel Rolnik, Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council.

More than 8,000 evictions took place in the past three years: a figure first reported by RioOnWatch, an NGO that studies consequences on residents and local communities. Evictions are non-negotiable.  If an  inhabitant manages to prove he occupied his home for more than 5 years, the city has to financially compensate him.  Compensation is generally under the current market price, according to Marcelo Armstrong, a tour guide in the favelas since the 1990s.

Going against the city is a very unequal fight,” said Marcia, a resident of the favela dô Metro. “People are scared of losing their homes. When the authority comes, they always say to us: if you don’t accept this offer, a tractor will come and destroy your home.”

The evictions and land grabs make way for transportation and parking improvements and security upgrades, in general. The favela dô Metrô is located near the legendary Maracanã stadium, which will be used for World Cup games in June and the 2016 Olympics.  A new parking area has to be built where the Vila dô Metrô stands. Since 2010, more than 700 families have been evicted and relocated into social housing, about 35 miles away from their original homes.

Popular Committee for the World Cup and Olympics estimates that about 170,000 Brazilians could be affected by evictions due to sports events– by 2016. The number could be 30,000 people in Rio, where the “Marvelous City” program launched in 2008.

Published in The English

Crédit photo à la Une : Rio On Watch