The World Cup isn’t just about soccer for the lower class citizens of Brazil.
In an attempt to clean up its image ahead of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil has ordered upwards of 1,400 armed forces over the past few months into Complexo de Maré, one of the largest favelas in Rio de Janeiro. Photos have surfaced that show officers armed with assault rifles, bulletproof vests, trucks, and even circling the slums in helicopters.
The favela is notorious for housing violent gangs and being a large source of drug trafficking. The officers cleaning up the area have been accused of crude conduct and covering up murders— possibly of children. The murders of Mare’s citizens have provoked retaliation in the form of riots throughout the complex.
Brazil’s recent crackdown on the favelas is due to its proximity to the grounds where the World Cup will be held in June. Visitors and fans alike must pass by the Complexo da Maré in order to reach Rio de Janeiro.
It should also be noted that Brazil will be hosting the Olympic Games in 2016, so this occupation may be a longstanding struggle. Although the games are a reason for celebration, it certainly doesn’t come without cost. Take a look at the video above and corresponding photos below.