The human cost of Rio’s growth

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“I would come back to live here if I could,” said Altair Guimarães, plucking a guava from a fruit tree that survived the re-development of Rio de Janeiro’s once-thriving Vila Autodromo community, all but razed by the 2016 Olympics project.

Guimarães, 61, was evicted from his home two years ago and today the trees, a church and two rows of small white houses are all that remain of the neighbourhood on Rio’s western fringe.

City authorities allowed just seven families of more than 500 to stay on in Vila Autodromo in the run-up to the Rio Games, a decision that ended a decades-long, sometimes bloody struggle between residents and the police sent to evict them.

For Guimarães, the forced move from Vila Autódromo was the final, bitter chapter in a life-long quest to put down roots in the city of his birth.

Evicted three times over three decades from different parts of Rio, his life illustrates how the re-development and gentrification of Brazil’s second biggest city has pushed many of its poorest residents to the edges, mirroring a global pattern. – Source (read more)

In the video made by place, you’ll hear about Rio’s different waves of removals, which you can learn more about by reading through the posts in Deep Rio’s favela category.

The video needs one small correction, though. CDD (City of God) wasn’t built for the removals, but rather to house government employees, as mentioned in my recent Etymology of Rio post.

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