Adopt a public space in Rio

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O Dia
October 2018

Rio’s mayor, Marcelo Crivella, launched the digital platform Adote.Rio, in which companies, citizens and social organizations can sign up to adopt trees, flower beds, gardens, squares, parks, monuments and fountains in the city. There is no need to pay anything to City Hall for the adoption of a public space. The company or the person who decides to participate in the project is responsible for the maintenance of the area or equipment. On the other hand, their name will be linked to the adoption via a plaque that holds a QR code.

“Adote.Rio arrives at a time when the city needs creativity, in a moment of crisis. We no longer live in a time of populist solutions. This is the spirit of Adote.Rio. We will only overcome this difficult moment with work and solidarity”, said Crivella.

The adoption of the city’s common-use public assets and green areas already exists. Today, Rio has 256 areas, of which 36 are squares. The total space for adoption is 1.5 million square meters, equivalent to three Quintas da Boa Vista.

“What does someone who adopts an area have to do?” “Maintain it,” he says, “as you would your own house.” Make that environment nice and clean. Each person will see what needs do be done according to the space’s use. There will be no expenses beyond these, but it is important to know that the adoption does not give the right to commercial use of the area,” said Cristina Monteiro, Director of Planning and Projects of the Parks and Gardens Foundation.

The Institute of Environmental Events (IEVA) is one of the partners that takes part in this experience. The area they adopted in January of this year is the Recanto do Trovador Park, the former Zoo in Vila Isabel in the Zona Norte. Since then, the now well-taken care of space – which before was visited by 350 people per month – receives 3,000 visitors. “It is a contribution to the community of Morro dos Macacos, above all, adjacent to the park and which has a large need of a leisure area. When companies or citizens do this, they disown City Hall and allow the government to shift its attention to more schools, hospitals and other important sectors,” said IEVA President Alexandre Gontijo.

Mongeral Aegon, an insurance and pension company, has adopted a two-block area two years ago at Travessa Belas Artes and Rua Imperatriz, near Praça Tiradentes, in the city center. The initiative enhanced the area around its headquarters and even improved the atmosphere among employees. “Adopting is worth it. This has created a relaxed atmosphere not only for the neighborhood but also for the employees, who come here with joy today because the surrounding area has become more valuable and more pleasant,” said Isauro Cardoso, advisor to the company’s president.

According to City Hall, the platform Adote.Rio was created to expand this movement and facilitate partnerships, with total transparency. First, areas and monuments downtown will be offered for adoption. Little by little, adoption options in other neighborhoods of the city will be added to the portal. Today, the city of Rio counts 2,200 urbanized plazas, 36 urban parks, 1,300 monuments and fountains and 450 kilometers of bike path as adoptable spaces.

“Those who love (something), take care of it, That’s the spirit of the Adote.Rio portal: to make a rapprochement between those who love a place, in this case, the citizen or the company, and the public good that is the target of this love, so that it may be adopted,” said the city secretary for the Environment, Roberto Nascimento.

How Adote.Rio Works

Initially, downtown areas and their surroundings that are available for adoption, such as Cidade Nova, Santa Teresa, Santo Cristo and São Cristóvão, will be listed on Adote.Rio. This does not prevent spaces from other regions from being adopted. But the idea is that this list is fed continuously, with the insertion of new areas in the city available at each update.

“All the squares and gardens that can be adopted are already cataloged on the site, and it is very easy: just click on the link, sign up and choose which areas to adopt, for example: a bench in a plaza, or a set of playgrounds in another plaza. All that is needed, including documentation, is easily found on the site,” commented the president of Iplan-Rio, Fábio Pimentel.

The digital platform Adote.Rio, created by Rio’s City Hall, is a partnership between Parks and Gardens Foundation, Superintendency of Downtown, João Goulart Foundation, Secretariat of Conservation and Environment, and IplanRio. – Source (PT)

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Largo do Boticario finds a buyer

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Largo do Boticário will have a hostel with 70 rooms and coworking spaces
AccorHotels bought six houses in the Zona Sul for US$5.1 million

G1
June 2018

A business project – mixing the concepts of a hostel and a coliving center, with gastronomic and coworking areas and a swimming pool – will be implanted in Largo do Boticário, in Cosme Velho. The news was presented to Cariocas in June by AccorHotels, who bought the six houses in the square for US$5.1 million and will invest $7.6 million in equipment and restorations so that the place can receive the first Jo&Joe venture to be opened outside of Europe. With an opening scheduled for September 2020, the space will follow an open house concept, with a large bar open to the public. There will also be a cultural and artistic space. The hostel will consist of an area of 3,500 square meters and will have 70 rooms, of varying prices and sizes. Construction will be started in about four months.

According to Patrick Mendes, CEO of AccorHotels in South America, the hotel network decided to invest in Rio because it believes in the economic recovery of the state and the tourist potential of the cidade maravilhosa.

“The decision to give this gift to Rio shows our intention to bet on the city”, said Patrick Mendes, noting that construction begins at the end of the year.

The purchase of all the houses, explains Patrick, was a negotiation that lasted about a year.

“Since we managed to buy it all, we can restore the whole complex. And rehabilitate this place for Cariocas. It will have a bar, barber, coworking space, plus a hotel. For that, we have brought in a new brand, Jo&Joe, which follows a new concept, with multifunctional spaces”, adding that the hotel will not be the main attraction. “It will be a place of […], in which the hotel will be the consequence and not the main reason.”

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According to the architect responsible for the project, Ernani Freire, the restoration of the space will be the starting point for the revitalization of the entire Cosme Velho area.

– It’s a space that the city complained about the very poor state of conservation. It’s a very charming urban space protected from the traffic of the city. The fact that all six houses were purchased facilitates the restoration project. It’s the phenomenon of the “positive metastasis” by the Catalan architect Oriol Bohigas. I imagine other buildings in the area, such as the Casa dos Abacaxis, will benefit, too”, said the architect Ernani Freire.

The architectural project, says Ernani, will respect the characteristics of the houses and the volumetry of the buildings. The buildings will be interconnected internally, but the facades will be maintained. Additions will be made to areas not related to the buildings. The forest area will also be preserved.

Aimed at a younger audience, the undertaking will have collective dormitories for up to ten people, average rooms for up to four guests, and smaller housing for two people. The estimate is that the tourist rents a bed, in a collective room, for about $25.

A large bar in the middle of the Open House, with capacity for 300 people, will be one of the biggest attractions. It will remain open until 2AM. The new Largo do Boticário will also have swimming pools. – Source (PT)


A news report from the 1960s, and another from 2016 on the space being put up for sale

Two stories of murder – 1895

Below, are two stories of murder in the year 1895, both captured in print by Brazilian newspaper O Paiz, as well as the American-owned paper The Rio News. Unfortunately, both papers, as well as many others of the time, surely, had sizeable sections dedicated to murder and misfortune. I feel like an entire blog could be dedicated to the types of strange and sordid stories one could find perusing these sections. Some of the mysteries within them are personal – such as why three friends having a drink would end in a blood bath – while others are institutional – such as why dotting i’s and t’s on police forms were more important than medical emergencies.

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From O Paiz, dated February 18th, 1895:

“There were three friends, Americans Happ Bell, Samuel Cleary and John Kelley, the day before yesterday, togtether at a dingy bar on Rua da Saúde, sitting around a table, chatting loudly, all laughing and constantly drinking.

What happened, witnesses don’t know how to explain other than there was a large altercation, in which Happ Bell, armed with a knife, lunged towards his two companions. There was a quick and terrible fight, among the strong and agile aggressor, and those assaulted.

Samuel Cleary fell dead and soon after John Kelley received a serious injury. He was taken to the Misercórdia hospital and the body of Samuel Cleary transported to the morgue and autopsied by Dr. Thomaz Coelho.

The criminal was arrested and presented to the police chief at the 3rd precinct.”

From The Rio News, same date,

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What was three Americans becomes three foreigners from different countries. Even “Happ Bill” becomes “Happy Bill”. In both reports, John Kelley was sent to the hospital to get medical attention. It’s not mentioned if this was immediately following the attack or – as will be stated at the end of the second story – only after the police were able to take statements.


In this second story, it is again discovered that both papers gave slightly different reports, each with their own added details.

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From O Paiz:

“The day before yesterday, at Building 22, on Rua da Conceição, Sampaio train station, the Estrada de Ferro Central do Brasil security guard Benedicto Jorge da Costa – seriously injured with a knife in the abdomen – was interrogated by the police chief of the 16th precinct.

The victim stated, at great cost, that on the day prior six men had attacked him on Morro do Pinto, and then evaded him. Benedicto perhaps did not finish his statement, having passed away in the presence of the authority, who had the body removed to the morgue.”

From The Rio News:

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Here, it is discovered that there used to be a “police regulation which forbids relief until a police official has taken his notes”, causing the victim to die. I employed a few different tricks up my sleeve to dig up more information on this regulation but I fear they fell short.

RioZoo to become a biopark

 

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In the first quarter of 2019, visitors who visit Rio’s Zoo in Quinta da Boa Vista will participate in a safari on a 400-meter-long boat ride down an artificial river. The attraction will take place in the 12,000-square-foot savannah area, a biome that will have species such as zebras and giraffes – which currently no longer exist in the area and will once again enchant children and adults – as well as wildebeests. This will be the first of the six biomes that will form the new park to be delivered to the public. The demolition of the old space for sea lions, in early June, marked the beginning of construction.

At an announced cost of US$17.3 million, the improvements will be funded by Grupo Cataratas, as foreseen in the 35-year concession contract, signed in 2016, with Rio’s city hall. The intervention, which will be completed by the end of 2019, aims to adapt the area of the zoo – whose entry will cost just over $9 after the end of the modernization project (currently a ticket is around $5) – to the new model around the world: the inverse enclosure, where visitors traverse smaller areas and animals share wider areas, rather than cages, similar to the natural habitat of these species.

“Rio’s zoo is quite old. We’ve arrivat at the concept of a more modern zoo. There are examples of zoos that are world landmarks, such as the one in San Diego. All these attractions already exist in other zoos. We want to build a brand new zoo by searching for the best ideas out there. In the project, the area for the public is smaller than it is today because it’s currently disproportionate. We’re going to reduce it without causing discomfort. The objective is to greatly increase the space for animals, with the so-called inverse enclosure”, said Bruno Marques, president of Grupo Cataratas.

According to him, there will be no significant increase in animals. In addition to the almost 1,200 that already exist, zebras and giraffes and, in the future, rhinoceros should be added to the zoo. The entire project must be completed by the end of next year, says Bruno Marques:

“Our intention is to do the project in three phases. We should already open the first phase in the first quarter of next year, a second in the middle of the year and the last one by the end of the year.”

During the renovation, the zoo will be partially open, from Friday to Sunday and also from 10am to 5pm, with the closing of the ticket office at 4pm – the new opening hours were adopted about a month ago in preparation of construction. Before, the Zoo was open from Tuesday to Friday. It is expected that, after completion of construction, the zoo will receive 1.3 million visitors per year. Last year, there were 700 thousand visitors.

 

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MORE THAN 100 SPECIES OF BIRDS

In the bird biosphere, the first area will be the visitors’ walk in the future, a large nursery of approximately 3,000 square meters. More than 100 species will be divided into three biomes: Atlantic Forest, Pantanal and Parrots. There will also be the option of a canopy circuit. The sensation will be of an immersion in a large rainforest, says the concessionaire responsible for its management.

During the visit, the biosphere for reptiles and insects will be the second stop. These environments will be made of vegetation, with turtles, snakes and alligators. The biosphere for felines and canines promises to enclose the visitor. Tigers, lions, jaguars and wolves will be observed through glass tunnels. The area will be over 7,000 square meters.

One of the bets of the new park will be the elephant biosphere. Access to the area, where the largest land animals will be, will be through gazebos, tunnels and acrylic aquariums. The space will have waterfalls and walkways with a 360 degree view for the public. Beyond elephants, bears and marine animals will have lakes and transparent tanks. The concessionaire also promises an aquatic ballet of penguins.

“It will be one of our greatest attractions. Inside, we will make a deep acrylic pool so the audience can see how the elephants behave in the water. We will do the same thing with the hippopotamus – said the president of Grupo Cataratas.

Fazendinha will be kept as a place for the education of children so they can have close contact with animals. This is where the little ones will learn, for example, where the milk and eggs come from that are part of their food.

Grupo Cataratas has been in charge of the management of the zoo since 2016. The company is responsible for the management of visitation at Iguaçu National Park. Throughout the 35-year concession contract, the concessionaire says it will invest $34.7 million in the construction of the site (including the $17.3 million in this reform). The estimate is that, over the contract period, the city will receive a return of $347 million, considering the payment of taxes, investment in city patrimony, the generation of jobs and reduction of the city’s expenses. Just between 2017 and 2030, the direct return to the city should be $41.9 million.

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VISITORS RECEIVED TOUR PASS

Two visitors in love with the Rio Zoo received an unlimited one-year visitation pass from the current administration. Actor André Sebastião Santos, 29, who owns a blog about the park since 2009, was one of the chosen ones.

“I created the blog because the zoo’s old site was very outdated, with little information about the animals. So I decided to create the blog to update it. I’ve lost count of how many times I visited the zoo. I think the zoo will look really pretty,” says André.

Leandro Henrique Simões, 10, has also lost count of how many times he has visited. The answer is “many,” since the first time he was on the spot was when he was still a year old, and since then, Leandro has celebrated his birthday there. With the reform, he hopes to see the giraffe and penguins again:

“I like Simba (the lion) better, but I miss the giraffe and the penguins.” I’m very excited. I want to do the boat trip (in the Savana area).

RIO’S ZOO IS THE OLDEST OF THE COUNTRY

The Zoo of Rio de Janeiro is the oldest in Brazil, at 78 years old. The area is located in the Quinta da Boa Vista Park, former residence of the Portuguese imperial family. The city obtained the space on March 18, 1945. One of the most striking images of its construction was the imposing gate built at its entrance, which can be seen in the landscape of some paintings from the imperial period. The gate was offered by an English nobleman as a wedding gift to Dom Pedro I and the future Empress Leopoldina.

Despite being the oldest that’s still active, the current zoo was not the first in the country. The activity of showing animals and trying to bring a bit of wildlife into the city began on January 16, 1888, when the Baron do Drummond founded the first Brazilian zoo in Vila Isabel, with an area of streams, artificial lakes and an extensive collection of animals.

Over the years, however, it created financial difficulties. The maintenance of the animals became difficult and to solve the problem, Baron do Drummond created the “jogo do bicho“, attracting the attention of visitors, residents of the neighborhood and, later, of the whole city, who placed their bets in the morning and checked the results in the afternoon.

The Baron of Drumond’s initiative, however, was not enough to save the ancient zoo, which ended by closing its doors in the 1940s. – Source (PT)

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Note: That Brazil’s first zoo was built in Rio in the late 1880s is debateable, although in the 1640s, Recife’s Palácio de Friburgo was technically under Dutch rule at the time.

Despite crises, Rio shines

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Amid the economic and security crisis, Rio is still the ‘marvelous city’ for residents of São Paulo

Preferred destination: Carnival (21%) | New Years (20%) | national tourism (17%) | State tourism (13%) | Beach – Copacabana (4%)

Rio is not a single picture, it’s not just news. It’s several cities, and lots of news – many of them good – that make you dizzy. Rio is the conversation with the taxi driver who says he’s reached his limit, but that he wouldn’t trade it for anything, it’s the friendly waiter with whom you have to feign an alleged intimacy to be served, it’s the strong-lunged mate seller on the beach, the sunset at Arpoador, the view from Vidigal … And everything else that’s enchanting.

This makes Rio what it is and will keep being: God’s whim, at his best and worst mood. Some of the news that Rio sends me fills my soul. Other knock me out in one breath. On average, the city’s image, constructed at a distance, doesn’t compare much with what you see in person.

Some especially comforting examples: Lapa with full bars, a walk through region that has AquaRio and the Museum of Tomorrow, a beer in Urca – it doesn’t have to be on the seawall -, Parque Lage, the Botanical Garden. Each of these already makes it worth it to be there. That’s why for residents of São Paulo, Bahia, Minas Gerais and even aliens, if they exist, Rio remains on the list of destinations one shouldn’t miss. – Source (PT)

Brazilian history in flames

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A massive fire raced through Brazil’s 200-year-old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, probably destroying its collection of more than 20 million items, ranging from archeological finds to historical memorabilia. – Source (PT)

I don’t even have words for how sad this is. What was lost goes so far beyond the snippet above (Luiza – the first Brazilian woman, the country’s largest indigenous and scientific collections, and innumerable items from the country’s founding). After the destruction of the Portuguese Language Museum in 2015, one would have thought that proper fire prevention systems would have been installed in the country’s most important historical institutions…

Law of urban responsibility

Nothing guarantees that the population will see the results of promises made in the Constitution, in the laws, or in the Master Plans, to be able to live in a good city. I insist: there is no mechanism within the public administration that protects society from the inefficiency, segregation and diseconomy produced by badly planned and badly managed cities.

The emphasis on management is not for nothing. Even an ill-conceived neighborhood could have its environmental qualities increased if good public spaces were created and, of course, if they were well maintained.

Well-designed streets, places to socialize, urban afforestation, cleanliness, planning and conservation are underrated formulas for success.

They do not alleviate infrastructure shortages, but when they are not implemented, they corrode everyday life. They create empathy for degradation. “That’s the way it is” or “It’s illegal, so what?”

I heard this from Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, a landscape architect, responsible for the rehabilitation of Central Park in New York. Betsy Rogers transformed a den of crime and violence in the 1980s into one of the world’s most vibrant urban parks by simply doing what she defined with three key actions: cleanliness, beauty, and conservation.

Note that “security” was not listed. By qualifying the urban experience, making it inclusive, and always taken care of, there is an increase in good use.

William H. White, another American urban planner, innovator in the field of human behavior in public space, said: “The so-called ‘undesirable people’ are not the problem. It’s the measures taken to fight them, that’s the problem… The best way to deal with the problem of undesirables is to take action and make it attractive to everyone else.”

We verified this hypothesis when the iron bars at Tiradentes Square were removed, in downtown Rio. The place became alive. Fear had motivated the placement of the bars. Franchised and well cared for, it actually came together. However, it was not the simple removal of the bars that produced this effect, but a set of urban management actions that kept it clean, orderly, beautiful and preserved over time.

I insist on the smallest scale. In an urbanism that moves. In a new pedestrian authority. A less pretentious or revolutionary urbanism. More inclusive and loving spaces. This is no small matter. But how?

Despite the advances of the 1988 Constitution, the City Statute, from 2001, and now the newest Metropolis Statute, from 2015, life in Brazilian cities has not improved. Every 13 years or so, we made laws to say “what”, but never to say “how”.

I propose a Law of Urban Responsibility.

The Fiscal Responsibility Law, made in 2000, said how the government should manage public finances. It’s not perfect, but it has ensured social control and transparency with clear goals, making the administrator responsible. There is a clear understanding of the benefits of this way of taking care of the public good.

For another important collective good – the city – Master Plans are made, which, if not attended to, do not imply responsibility for administrators. Such plans err in failing to set goals. This function has been assigned to Strategic Plans.

Rio has been using this methodology since the Cesar Maia administration, when, in 1993, the “Rio Sempre Rio” plan was made. That’s where the vision for and pursuit of the Olympics came from. Then, in 2004, they made “As Cidades da Cidade”, where the “city” of Arts, Samba, and Children come from.

During the 2008 elections, candidates Fernando Gabeira and Eduardo Paes signed on with the Rio Como Vamos initiative for adopting goals.

Having been elected, Paes initially made a 2020 plan and set targets for the end of his first term. In 2013, the State created job titles within the city, known as Goal Management Analysts. And a new plan, with a view towards 2030, and targets for 2016. This methodology was added to the practice of agreements for result and bonuses, giving the city a glimpse of speedier management.

Just when it elaborated a strategic plan with a greater temporal scope, the Plano Rio 500 –  looking towards 2065, and with a greater participation process, and again creating goals for the next four years – the TRE-RJ made Paes and the candidate for his succession, Pedro Paulo, ineligible.

The Marcelo Crivella administration is continuing the methodology and the Strategic Plan.

A collective culture of participatory elaboration of goals in Rio is being consolidated.

But how can results be ensured?

This management model is recommended by the National Front of Mayors and even by international entities, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Based on the 2010 Census, the IBGE launched the unprecedented study “Intra-urban Typology: Spaces of Socioeconomic Differentiation in Urban Concentrations in Brazil”, which shows how acute territorial inequality is. Only 24% of the population in Brazilian urban concentrations live in conditions considered good.

The Constitution and the City Statute failed. There is no use for Plans that do not define goals. There is no point in participating if goals are not achieved.

The Brazilian population needs an Urban Responsibility Law that punishes administrators that don’t strive to make a good city for everyone. – Source (PT)

The Cult of Malandragem

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It doesn’t really seem like Rio de Janeiro is profiting from the cult of malandragem (being a trickster).

There is a part of Rio de Janeiro’s population that has always created for itself – and for the rest of Brazil that pays attention to what is being said there – an image of the city as a national and global center of malandragem. It would be a great virtue. This “spirit”, in its way of seeing things, makes Rio a city that’s superior to others. It makes its citizens more intelligent, more able to deal with life and more adept than other Brazilians in achieving the best for themselves. Imagine that these people are all up there in the hills, or in the “communities” (favelas), as one must say today. Many indeed are, but they are not the ones who are most representative, for their voice does not go far. Those that really carry this flag forward are a portion of the, more or less, middle classes of the Zona Sul, with the decisive participation of artists, intellectuals who sign manifestos, opinion-makers, influencers, communicators and so on. Today, they are the guardians of philosophy who say that to qualify as a “malandro” is one of the greatest gifts a human being can give to himself. While his worst misfortune, a source of shame and complete proof of stupidity, is to be the exact opposite of this – the sucker, condemned to spend his life in humiliation, attainment and “disadvantaged.” Be everything in Rio; but do not, for God’s sake, be an “otário” (sucker, idiot).

The hit song in Rio de Janeiro at the end of 2017 is “Vai, Malandra” (image above). Football commentators, starting with the most popular ones, once again bet that the “natural malandragem” of the Brazilian footballer will be an important strategic advantage at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The city and state politicians are proudly described as “malandros”. In the arts and in what is called a “cultural milieu” the figure of the malandro, and the philosophy that is built around his merits, are among the main themes of interest. The word “malandro”, in short, is a compliment. The word “otário” is an insult. Nothing improves, of course, the general idea that associates the sucker with someone honest, a keeper of one’s word, taxpayer, a follower of the rules of the road, well-bred, etc – all this, more and more, is seen as a weakness, as well as stupidity, a lack of “jogo de cintura” (artful dodging) and other serious crimes. A decent citizen, in this climate, is a defective citizen.

The attitude of the cult of the “malandragem” does not seem to be having good results in the practical life of Rio de Janeiro. Until the other day, three former state governors were in jail at the same time for corruption – one of them, who was not lucky enough to put a Gilmar Mendes in his pocket on the way there, is still in the slammer. No other state in Brazil, at any time in history, has achieved anything like this. The year 2017 is ending with more than 130 policemen murdered in Rio, an average of one killed every three days. Public officials have forgotten what it is to receive a monthly salary on time. It was necessary to borrow money to pay for their mandated Christmas bonus. One of Rio’s and Brazil’s biggest points of pride, Maracanã Stadium, remains closed after spending billions of dollars worth of investments to impress at the Pan American Games, then the 2014 World Cup and finally the 2016 Olympics, one event after of the other. Flamengo, the biggest team in Rio, trains in a place called “Vulture’s Nest”. None of this really has the appearance of being a great big trick. – Source (PT)

 

Casa do Jongo shut its doors

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Cultural producers and students protest in favor of the Casa do Jongo

The official home of Jongo in Rio de Janeiro – headquarters of the traditional cultural group Jongo da Serrinha, in Madureira, in the north of the capital – has closed. Casa do Jongo suspended activities last week due to a lack of funds.

In order to demand public policies for the safeguarding of its intangible heritage – declared a landmark by Iphan in 2005 – and the upkeep for its scheduled activities, visitors, students and supporters protested today (January 9th), in Cinelandia, in downtown Rio.

Inaugurated in 2015, Casa do Jongo is the result of the dedication by Jongo masters since the 20th century so that the dance doesn’t disappear. The cultural group was founded to expand the jongo groups and professionalize activities, hence the need to have a space of their own.

With the support of the city government that, in 2013, bought and renovated the property where the institution was operating til today, Casa do Jongo opened its doors. This is the last nucleus for the dance in the city, the inheritance of Mestre Darcy and Vovó Maria and the birthplace of the samba school Império Serrano.

Until last year, the venue served 400 students of all ages, with classes in percussion, singing, sports, cultural practices, as well as serving as a meeting point for neighborhood artists. Three thousand people visited there in 2017.

Financing

With the suspension of the bill approved by the administration of the previous mayor, Eduardo Paes – the main way the institution’s activities were financed – the problems started. The amount raised by companies through the tax incentive law is insufficient to maintain the space’s activities, whose monthly costs are US$12,400 for infrastructure and to pay 23 employees.

The director of the house, Dionne Boy, says she tried for one year to get support for a direct contribution from the City’s Culture Secretary, in the form of investment granted to other cultural institutions, such as the Deborah Colker dance company and the Museum of Tomorrow, however the results weren’t positive. The director questions the criteria for receiving investment and also demands contributions for projects that work with intangible heritage.

“We do not think we have to be supported only by the city hall, but what are the criteria [for direct transfers]? That is not clear, “Dyonne questioned. “We are fighting all the time to have a policy for the city’s intangible heritage. Groups that are 50 years old, 60 years old, like Filhos de Gandhi, Jongo da Serrinha, Trem do Samba, they are projects that are the very identity of the city of Rio and are being undermined, making culture with their own funds, but which in the crisis are the ones that suffer the most”, she said.

According to Dyonne, these groups have more difficulty attracting sponsorship compared to institutions in the media such as museums and dance groups. “We are inside a favela, serving, especially children, we should have priority,” she said.

Regarding the direct transfer of funds to the Casa do Jongo, the City Secretary of Culture, Nilcemar Nogueira, said that it was not possible because of the decrease in tax collection in the city. He informed that, through the fiscal incentive law, Casa do Jongo raised so far, $37,400 so far, to be paid this year. On the pay-outs to the Deborah Colker dance company, the secretary argues that the group is a reference in the country and internationally and develops social projects – with free presentations. He also says that, in the last year, support from the Secretary to the group was reduced from $624,200 to $124,800.

Another alternative to get resources offered to Casa do Jongo, according to Nilcemar, were the three open tender notices made by the secretariat last year. One of them allocated $156,000 for initiatives with an emphasis on African culture, distributed in amounts between $3,000 and $15,600.

The Casa do Jongo did not compete for the open tenders, according to director Dionne Boy, because the maximum amounts were low. “We do not have projects at these [lower] amounts. We have projects for one year, not one month. And we know, moreover, that such low amounts ​​hurt cultural activity”, she said.

According to her, since last year, even with fiscal stimulus funds, the Jongo supporters were paying for some activities. “We were banking this with money from our own pocket, these 23 teachers don’t get a paycheck, they are partners who give classes elsewhere and do volunteer work in the Serrinha. We, the coordinators, are seven people, and are like State employees (with parceled wages). This is a scandal for the city.”

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Afro-Brazilian culture

In the evaluation of the director and other cultural producers in the city, who launched a public letter in defense of Casa do Jongo during the protest, the city hall has left behind manifestations and cultural groups linked to black culture. “There is a component of persecution of cultures from the African matrix, of popular culture, without a doubt”, criticized the cultural administrator.

Secretary Nilcemar Nogueira denies that projects related to Afro-Brazilian culture are being relegated by the administration of Mayor Marcelo Crivella. However, he acknowledged that initiatives related to Afro-Brazilian memory or intangible heritage have more difficulties to maintain themselves, including those related to samba.

“Today we don’t value anything that comes from African matrix. This is a discussion to be had with the entire society. Because if the entire society understood its importance, this wouldn’t be happening to the Casa do Jongo, nor with samba, nor with the Folia de Reis. We still think in an isolated way,” he said. – Source (PT)

End of the UPP is nigh

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“We’re just waiting for the order to get out of here.” The Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) budget cut and the law that leaves them subordinate to police battalions were, for the police, two blows by the government declaring the end of the project. On Tuesday, the vote on next year’s Budgetary Law at Alerj, which cut R$500 million from the MP, removed the little bit of hope from MPs who still saw a chance. If in 2017 the maintenance budget of the UPPs was R$5.4 million, for the coming year the 38 units will only have R$10 thousand. The total, mockingly, is equivalent to R$833 per month or R$21 per month for each of the UPPs.

“We’ve been dealing with this instability for months. We don’t know when it’ll end, the only certainty is that it will end at some point”, says a UPP police officer.

Ostensive Policing in Favelas may be Comprimised

Changes in the structure of the project can lead to an increase in the sense of security outside the favelas. This is because the group employed in the poor communities will be added to the battalion’s operational framework – currently at a shortage. Within areas of conflict, however, ostensible policing will not be seen frequently, say CPP (Pacifying Police Coordination) sources.

According to the text of Law 7.799, which was already sanctioned by the governor and currently in the regulatory phase, “the battalion commanders, to which UPP subordination was assigned, will have to add all the existing contingent of UPPs servants to their operational framework, to remove, transfer, exchange and even substitute the existing command posts.” The document also says that the UPPs will continue to carry out their activities, but that their operational framework may be modified.

The transference of the troops to the battalions can also put at stake the MPs’ R$700 salary bonus.

“The state needs to save money, and the battalions need reinforcement. The name “UPP” will remain, the community stations will continue, but ostensible policing inside the favelas will end – said a CPP source, who also notes the sad failing of social projects. – Unfortunately, this ends all articulation of social projects, which is what makes UPP what it is.

With the restructuring of the UPPs, the CPP will become a “supervisory body”, with its captain having prerogatives only in order to guide and define areas of risk, with the PM general commander deliberating the implementation or deactivation of the sites within the State. The coordinating body, which currently functions as the UPP HQ, should no longer control, for example, the Intelligence sector and the special police unit, which acts in community conflicts.

“The CPP will become a kind of Area Police Command (CPA) and should lose about 90% of its staff.”

Between PMs, there is no more light at the end of the tunnel. Many have shown an interest in leaving the favelas, given the vulnerability of poor vehicles and weapons.

“Everything is lacking. Minimal work conditions and a lot of stress. Precarious vehicles and weapons. Everyone wants to leave the favelas. UPP is an operationally failed project”, reveals a soldier.

Devalued Population

Residents living in UPP areas also did not believe in the continuity of the project. For social activist Mariluce Mariá, from Complexo do Alemão, the UPP was nothing more than an “artificial dream”. For her, health and education should have been priorities from the start.

“The security that we always needed was investment in health and education. If the state had invested more in the human being and less in this war on drugs, we would all have had a positive return. Because the insecurity within the favelas also exists outside them, but within favelas it stands out due to the lack of specific public policies. On paper, the UPP project is wonderful, every citizen’s dream, mainly those who live in an area of ​​risk. They present us with an artificial dream, which cannot be realized. Dreams can only come true when there are people committed to make them happen and that’s not what we see.”

On Wednesday, Security Secretary Roberto Sá lamented the 2018 budget cut, but said the police, “giving 2017 as an example, will seek partnerships to assist in the costs, besides establishing priority actions to guarantee service to the population”. In a statement, the secretary said that the creation of the Public Security Fund, approved by Alerj, could ease the needs of the Civil and Military police. – Source (PT)