The helicopter woke me about 0500 hrs. Thats not so unusual these days.

Helicopters passing overhead mean trouble.
But you live in a major city you may say. Aren’t helicopters normal?
Correct but for the last 7 weeks the low intensity war in Rio de janeiro is not quuite so low intensity anymore.

Since the attempted take over by one criminal faction of another in the Rocinha favela, which is probably the most lucrative in terms of drug trade in the city, there has been daily police and military action.

How the police and armed forces allowed 200 – 300 armed followers of one of the factions to escape through the forested mountains is something the local media won’t discuss. No big surprise there. The local media is only really interested in discussing futeball and telenovelas.
If the Brazilian army isn’t trained for warfare in a forested environment what is it trained for?
Or is the theory correct that by leaving the bandits to fight another day the factions will wipe each other out, or at least seriously reduce their manpower.
Which leads to another problem: how are all the arms getting to the criminals and if you said via police and army you would be correct.

The resulting fall out has led to shootings in a further 15 or more favelas throughout the city.

Then there is the increasingly militant evangelicism, where some gang leaders state they are waging a holy war; in particular with attacks on afro-brazilian places of worship.
This is not being condemned by the church leaders, amongst them the present mayor of the city an evangelical Bishop.

Meanwhile the culture wars are also spreading with hysteria, homophobia and censorship of art, attacks on galleries and museums, and more generally on the creative and intellectual classes from a proto-fascist hate mob which although a small minority is gaining strength and visibility.

But hey the weather is warming up for summer and the girls are sashaying down the street so life can’t be all that bad in the Cidade Maravilhosa.

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