Brazil: Favelas as a New Tourist Attraction

The World Cup and the Olympic Games are two of the events in Brazil which have been taken as opportunities to redesign urban areas by removing or upgrading favelas to get rid of an image of violence, poverty and social inequality.

As Phyllis Bußler reports, the favelas of Rio de Janeiro are being developed into increasingly attractive tourist spots. The settlements on the hills of the city are policed to reduce the crime rate. While people appreciate the more secure environment, the police are also accused of abuse and torture of inhabitants.

Many local inhabitants have already been evicted or have been displaced by increasing costs of living. Lives in the traditional settlements of the working class have changed. The real estate market is a driving force. More and more middle class Brazilians, but also Europeans and US-Americans, buy property in the favelas. While some of the local people may benefit from these developments, the majority are forced to move to the suburbs, far from the city, and to start anew under even more difficult conditions.