McCormack Speaks

September 10, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Rio de Janeiro and the Threats of Violence, Poverty, and Drugs


by David Matz, Professor Emeritus of Conflict Resolution

Brazilian favelaI have just returned from a one-week visit to Rio. The city faces the Atlantic Ocean, has gorgeous beaches, and is surrounded by quickly rising mountains. It is an excellent tourist destination with many great restaurants and upscale malls. I was accompanied (hosted) by my friend Liz Leeds who has spent much of her professional life working there. We spent most of our time talking with Liz’s friends who work, as she has, in public security, police reform, and community organizing.

In addition to the beauty of parts of the city, Rio’s most striking feature is its violence. It is everywhere, it is sharply increasing, and it is naturally on everyone’s mind. In the last year there have been 60,000 homicides in Brazil (population 210,000,000), and 90 murdered policemen in Rio. One ranking lists Brazil as #1 in violence.

Allow me to share a few of my experiences: Continue Reading →

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