Thursday, July 3, 2014
How to host a World Cup...
In the recent world cup match USA vs Belgium, barely anybody noticed the apparently crazed man that ran onto the field. However, this was not an enthusiastic fan but a protester with “save favelas children” written on his t-shirt (favelas are the name for slums). This is a glimpse of the other side of the World Cup; an event appearing to optimize joy and global unity, has turned into a tool used by corporations and a corrupt Brazilian government to make massive financial gains at the cost of Brazilian’s poor population.
The article is juicy satire taken to the extreme. The author suggests that football actually does bring people out of the favelas, not in the sense that you can become a professional player, but that the government will put a gun to your face and tell you to move or die. The homes in the favela are then promptly bulldozed to build a highway that will speed up travel for the wealthy and tourists.
The article points out the ridiculousness of the media’s attempt to christen this the “common people’s cup” as the sight of common Brazilian is clearly undesirable demonstrated by walls separating favelas from stadiums. The common people don’t even get a chance to protest against any of the injustices as there is a force of 200,000 police officers ready to step in at the sign of any resistance.
The fact that human rights are violated is obvious. IN 1948 Brazil voted for the UN’s Universal Declaration of rights. One right is security of your standard of living (i.e. your home). One is the right to peaceful assembly. Another is the right not be subjected to an arbitrary displacement. All three rights have been violated.
The source of the problem is clear. Brazil has the second largest disparity of wealth between poor and rich (for comparison the USA is 9th on this list) which gives a small group of people all the power. The powerful have instated a purification campaign in the favelas lead by a task force whose motto is “knife in the skull”. If a self-governed favela’s drug-lord does not yield to the demands of the government the task force moves in and slaughters scores of people to send a message.
The funny thing is that most people preferred to be governed by the drug-lords as they enforced human rights. There are far less domestic violence cases, rapes and robberies in gang owned areas in comparison to “purified places”. The quality of living has decreased through government intervention.
Brazil is not the paradise your television is telling you it is. Forced displacements, destruction of homes and abuse of police power are the main points that this article touches upon but are truly just the tip of the iceberg. I have included this video that I think everybody who has enjoyed a world cup game should watch.
Based on this article: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/fifa-wasnt-going-to-let-favelas-ruin-a-wonderful-world-cup--it-just-bulldozed-them-instead-9582749.html