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Raising the Flag over Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas: Citizenship and Social Control in the Olympic City

From: Journal of Latin American Geography
Volume 13, Number 1, 2014
pp. 7-38 | 10.1353/lag.2014.0016



In preparation for a series of mega-events culminating in the 2016 Summer Olympics, the state has been reclaiming select favelas in Rio de Janeiro. Territories that have been controlled by drug gangs and largely off-limits for as long as thirty years are being colonized through a series of aggressive government programs that involve military occupation, infrastructure provision, beautification and selected removal. Following James Scott I argue that the production of “legibility and simplification” associated with these programs is necessary for residents to fully participate in modern society, but that these measures expose residents to predatory aspects of the state and capital.


Durante os preparativos para uma série de megaeventos, inclusive os Jogos Olímpicos de 2016, o Estado tem recuperado o controle de certas favelas do Rio de Janeiro. Territórios que foram controladas por traficantes durante mais que 30 anos, tornam-se agora colonizados por uma série de programas governamentais que envolvem a ocupação militar, a provisão de infraestrutura, embelezamento e remoção seletiva. De acordo com o pensamento de James Scott, eu argumento que a produção de “legibilidade e simplificação” associada a esses programas é necessária para que os moradores possam participar plenamente na sociedade moderna, mas que estas medidas expõem os moradores a aspectos predatórios do Estado e do capital.

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