Friday, February 26, 2010

Brutal death sours cup joy | World news | The Observer

Brutal death sours cup joy | World news | The Observer: "The incident is the clearest demonstration yet that many of Rio's favelas are so lawless they are 'parallel states', with their own leaders and rules. Estimates put the membership of drug gangs at 100,000 - more than the entire police force. With an armoury of about 65,000 firearms too, the traffickers are a parallel army. 'They are the law, the only law, and you have to obey them whether you like it or not,' said Clarissa Fonseca de Bastos, a street vendor who lives in a favela known as the Morro da Formiga, or Anthill.

In some slums, say residents, drug lords decide when shops will open and close, who can enter or leave and where and how houses can be built. Their influence is also beginning to extend to middle-class areas and their growing boldness was shown a fortnight ago when the windows of Rio's mayoral office were shattered by bullets."

We talk about outlaw private governments, but in Brazil they really have them.

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