"Río De Janeiro, Brazil.
Preparing for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro launched a security program called “UPP,” Police Pacification Unit.
UPPs are permanent police posts installed in the “favelas,” the sprawling shantytowns that house most of the city’s 1.2 million residents. Their mission is to eliminate drug trafficking and organized crime within these communities.
While many believe the UPPs have helped to quell the violence and bring prosperity to the favelas, others see the pacification program as a temporary cover-up to Rio’s problems with social disparity."
For over three years of full preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, Rio de Janeiro developed an innovative safety program focused on so-called "UPP" Pacification Police-Units-which is a radical shift in how to deal with the problem of violence and drug trafficking in the favelas.
UPP's mission is to maintain control of these territories once the local drug trade has been expelled.
This, theoretically, is nothing but a low profile repression, preventing the display of firearms and encouraging contact and dialogue with local people, accustomed to live past decade parallel with the power of drug trafficking.
In short, it is a hybrid between police and social worker, as defined by the authorities of Rio.
Favelas have traditionally been controlled by any of the three major drug groups in the city: the Comando Vermelho, the Third Command and Friends of Friends.
While many believe that UPPs have helped quell violence by opening the doors of the favelas to public services such as legal electricity supply, refuse collection, education, public works and social assistance program, others see the pacification program as a temporary cover to security problems in Rio de Janeiro.
When the Olympics end up in 2016, they say, everything will be what it was.
So far, this Multimedia piece is a coverage (since the beginning of 2012) of the point of view from the inhabitants of the shantytowns and the Military Police -through 4 months of uninterrupted embeds with several UPP units documenting their routine, patrols and encounters with drug dealers in shoot outs-, all within the frame of the city being shaped with the sport events.
As soon as its second stage is finished (October - January), the project aims to conduct an objective portrait of how the key players of this story (Police and Military Elite troops, residents of the Favleas, drug dealers and ordinary citizens) deal with the short and long term effects of these pacification.
- Pictures, Video, Interviews, Script and Co-Editing:
- Sound design & Music, Postproduction and Co-Editing:
José Bautista | KanseiSounds