Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Brasilian police and military invade a slum area in Rio

A slum area is an area of extreme poverty.  The people who live there have little money and the living situation is difficult and often violent. There are lots of these areas in Brasil and many illegal drug organizations operate out of these areas.  

Because Brasil was chosen to host the World Cup soccer tournament, the police and military have been invading (sending the military into these areas) these areas to try to clean them up by removing the criminals.

It is a shame that it took a World Cup for the Brasilian government to finally care about eliminating crime in its poorest neighborhoods.  Maybe if we give them another World Cup they'll actually try to do something to help the massive (huge) numbers of extremely poor people who live there. After the World Cup I am sure the Brasilian government will stop caring about these areas and the criminals will flood back in (move back in, in huge numbers).

Here is an article about the latest attack:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

a slum - another term can be 'ghetto' - an area where very very poor people live. Usually the conditions are terrible and there is a lot of violence.

Marines - members of the military who can fight on land and on sea; usually the Marines are the toughest or strongest of the soldiers who fight

massive complex - a huge or large area of many buildings

a security push - an aggressive action to make sure there is safety

shanty towns - very very poor towns of cheap and poorly made buildings - Brasil is filled with them

patrolling - soldiers will be walking around this area to make sure it is safe

virtually treeless - it means that basically there are no trees in this neighborhood

hugs the main road - it's right next to the main road; to hug someone is to place your arms around the person

permanent posts - places where the police and military will remain forever

pacification program - a program to make an area peaceful

to secure Rio ahead of not the World Cup - the author meant: to secure Rio ahead of not only the World Cup but also the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

installed - put into place

a critical time - the most important time

brazenly - openly, showing no concern or worries

stymie - to stymie something is to stop something or slow something down

with each area policy occupy - the writer meant: with each area the police occupy 

shuffled down a street - walked slowly, dragging her feet as if tired or old

the arc of the program - the length of time this program has been happening

shootouts - when people shoot guns at each other

heavy-handed police tactics - the police have been too strict, too forceful

presumed death - everyone is guessing that this poor guy died after being tortured by the police so they could get information

caches - collections, a bunch of stuff

strong social programs - so the residents seem to be happy the criminals are being arrested and removed, but their lives are not being improved by the government. The government just wants safety for the World Cup and not the welfare of its citizens.

retribution - revenge; being hurt because she said something the gangs don't like

Say a prayer for the poor in Brasil...there's more of a chance God will help them than the government.

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