Cidade de Deus, or City of God, located in the western part of Rio de Janeiro, is one of the city's poorest slums. It was created in the 1960s as an attempt by the government to move people out of favelas and resettle them in the suburbs. The area became famous in the film City of God, which won four Oscars in 2002.
Over a decade later things have changed in Rio’s famous district. Shortly before the Olympic Games 2016 are scheduled to begin, new police units are patrolling the area to control gang warfare and drug trafficking.
This district of Rio de Janeiro has become safer since 2009, when newly organized police peace units started patrolling the area. Specially trained policemen get more money if they work in the area. But getting the residents to trust them is a difficult task in a part of town where people are caught between gang warfare and the police.
Although housing has improved since the 1960s, many people still live in quickly set-up huts. Most of the slum’s 60 000 people still live in the original buildings of the 1960s. While Rio’s authorities are steadily trying to build new homes, they simply don’t have the money that is needed to combat all the area’s social problems. Not all parts of the slum have adequate electricity and sanitation. Rivers full of wasterun through the streets. Human urine and dead animals can be smelled throughout the area.
However, residents of the City of God agree that the place has become safer. A new police station has been set up and murder rateshave gone down. You can see more and more children playing in the street, something that would have been impossible ten years ago. Drugs, however, are still a big problem. While large-scale drug barons have left the area, small gangs have taken over the business.
Rio de Janeiro has over a thousand favelas with a population of millions. On one side the city’s economy is growing strongly, on the other side it remains one of the most dangerous places in the world.
American President Barack Obama visits Rio de Janeiro's City of God.
adequate = enough
although = while
attempt = try
authorities = group of people in the government who have the power to make decisions
baron = boss
combat = fight against
create = make
decade = ten years
district = region
drug trafficking = buying and selling drugs
economy = the system by which goods and money are produced and used
favelas = poor areas of cities in South America
gang warfare = when groups of young people commit crimes and fight against other groups
government = people who rule a country or a city
housing = the building of new homes
hut = very small house
improve = get better
large-scale = very important, big
located = to be found
murder rate = the number of people who are killed in a certain time
peace = when there is no war
quickly set-up = here: to build something overnight
remain = stay, is still
resettle = move a person to another place to live there
resident = person who lives in a place
sanitation = protecting people’s health by removing dirty water and waste
schedule = plan
slum = area of a city that is in very poor condition and where very poor people live
steadily = always, little by little
suburb = area of a city far away from the centre
task = job
throughout = in all of
trust = have hope, believe in a person
urine = yellow liquid that comes out of the body
waste = unwanted material