News / Americas

Brazil Evictions Continue Near Future Olympic Sites

Brazil Evictions Continue Near Future Olympic Sitesi
X
Scott Bobb
July 07, 2014 12:23 PM
Football's World Cup in Brazil is drawing to a close leaving great sporting memories. It also leaves a legacy of controversy over evictions and land dispossessions that made way for the event. The scenario is repeating itself as Brazil prepares for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from a community near a future Summer Olympics site.
Scott Bobb

Football's World Cup in Brazil is drawing to a close leaving great sporting memories. It also leaves a legacy of controversy over evictions and land dispossessions that made way for the event. The scenario is repeating itself as Brazil prepares for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Vila Autodromo is a community of low- and moderate-income families in western Rio de Janeiro.

It was established more than 40 years ago outside a racetrack that once hosted events like the Formula One Grand Prix. That facility has since been razed.

And the city government is evicting the 500 families that live here. Nearly one-third of them have already left and their houses have been destroyed.

The official reason? This area is to be a major center for the 2016 Olympic Games.

But many residents here do not want to move. Among them is Jane Nascimento, a member of the local association.
 
“What’s happening here is real estate speculation. Vila Autodromo has been here for more than 40 years. Originally it was a community of fishermen,” she says.
 
Nascimento says the government is pressuring people to move by cutting electricity and services and by threatening to seize their properties without compensation.
 
The government says it needs the land for the Olympics. But Tadeu Marco Peixoto, another long-time resident, disagrees.
 
“This is not true because the area we live in is not within the boundaries to be used by the Olympics. They want to take us out because they believe the poor cannot live among the rich. They say it’s because of the Olympics, but this is just a smoke screen,” says Peixoto.
 
He says the real reason is that this area, situated on a lagoon near the beach, has become prime real estate. Entrepreneurs want to build millions of dollars worth of condominiums, offices and shopping malls here.
 
“There was a proposal originally [before the Olympics were awarded to Rio] to improve sanitation, legalize the water supply and collect taxes here. But now they don’t want to do this, even though we have the title [deed] to the land and it was registered,” says Peixoto.
 
Peixoto paid about $10,000 for his property 21 years ago. It is now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. He says he intends to stay until he is paid enough to allow him to live somewhere of equal value.
 
In the run-up to the 2014 World Cup, authorities evicted residents in dozens of neighborhoods across Rio and other major Brazilian cities.

The evictions have sparked protests from some who believe the mega-events serve primarily the interests of the wealthy. And with Brazil hosting the Summer Olympic Games just two years from now, such demonstrations are not likely to end.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: GringaBrazilien from: SaoPaulo
July 07, 2014 3:10 PM
I failed to find in your report the fact that all families that had to be moved to make way both for the World Cup and Olympics were re-housed.
This is not unusual witihin any major event that requires major construction work.
Exactly the same thing happened in London2012.
More information here about the re-housing of families in Brazil:
translated from Portuguese ->
"Not a single person was left homeless due to any construction linked to the World Cup. All faimiles that had to be removed were offered alternative accomodation by their local Housing Authority"
source: http://www.copa2014.gov.br/pt-br/noticia/tire-suas-duvidas-sobre-os-investimentos-do-pais-para-a-copa
Exanple here, from community in Recife, that actually was removed to much improved conditions:
Recife article: http://www.copa2014.gov.br/pt-br/noticia/especial-mangue-ultimos-desapropriados-se-mudam-para-conjunto-habitacional
Although it is important to remain vigilant as to how those Mega events can affect communities, it is also important not to fall for political propaganda, and get the actual facts.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Ecuador Is Prime Example at Heart of Pope's Climate Stance

Pope Francis begins his South America tour this weekend in country that is prime example of tensions between politics, business and environment
More

Experts: US-Cuba Moves Likely to Deepen N Korea’s Isolation

Korea University professor sees US-Cuba normalization as 'quite an ideological eye-opener' for Pyongyang, a longtime Havana ally
More

Pope to Tour 3 South American Countries

Grueling, week-long trip will showcase Francis at his unpredictable best: speaking his native Spanish on his home turf about issues closest to his heart
More

Congress Aims to Keep Bans on Dealing with Cuban Military

Proposed legislation would ban Americans from engaging in any financial transactions with the Cuban military or the Cuban Ministry of the Interior
More

Video Rapprochement Opens New, Uncertain Chapter in US-Cuba Relations

Change is result of months of secret negotiations that culminated in December with decision to resume ties, but critics say nothing has changed in Cuba’s human rights record
More

Pirates and Hold-ups: Crime Strikes Venezuela's Oil Industry

National crime pandemic is a growing headache for the oil industry, which accounts for nearly all of the country's export revenues
More