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It's that mega sports event - eviction

The evictions just go on. Just as Raquel Rolnik, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council on the right to adequate housing, criticised the evictions taking place in Brazil campaigners there claim up to one and a half million people will be displaced across Brazil between now and the 2014 World Cup. That doesn't include the 2016 Olympics.

The Guardian has published an article on evictions at a favela in Rio de Janeiro, the Favela do Metrô, already featured on Games Monitor, in which most of the favela has been levelled to make way for a car park for the nearby stadium. Children left behind in the favela were having to play in the rubble and wreckage.

"It looks like you are in Iraq or Libya," one resident, Freitas, said, wading across mounds of debris that now encircle his home. "I don't have any neighbours left. It's a ghost town." Faced with the relentless process of eviction he said: "I don't have any hope left."

The Guardian reports that campaigners say the Favela do Metrô is just the tip of the iceberg. Julio Cesar Condaque, an activist fighting the demolitions, claims other Brazilian cities will be affected by the infrastructure facelift. "Between now and the 2014 World Cup, 1.5 million families will be removed from their homes across the whole of Brazil."

It also reports that Amnesty International's secretary-general, Salil Shetty, is visiting Brazil to meet activists fighting eviction. A Brazil researcher for Amnesty, Patrick Wilcken, said, "We are asking authorities at all levels that this development does not take place at the cost of human rights. While hosting the World Cup and the Olympics is a great opportunity for Rio and other capital cities around Brazil, they should be events for all Brazilians, whether they are rich or poor."

Wilcken reported that slum residents had little choice. If they refused to accept compensation packages they were effectively forced out by authorities who carried out partial demolitions of the favela.

"They come, demolish the house, leave the rubble, frequently damage neighbouring houses and the infrastructure – breaking mains pipes, cutting through electricity lines and making community unviable – and then bring in these problems of drug addicts, of plagues of rats and plagues of cockroaches that basically force the rest of the community to move, often in very, very unfavorable circumstances," he said.

There's nothing new under the sun when it comes to mega events.


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