The favela of Alemão: here the war between drug dealers and the police is never ending. There have been days in which more than 20 people have been killed in the fighting. In an effort to bring this urban violence to an end, Rio de Janeiro has around 30 conflict mediators.
Former drug dealers and convicts, these individuals work to limit the collateral damage of the fight between police and armed bandits. The situation is different in Rocinha, South America’s largest favela, home to 180,000 people. Amaury, Carlos and other representatives from associations, promote dialogue in this more peaceful community. The idea is to avoid situations of extreme violence which is a preventative measure, essential to all.
Far from the dialogue, this bullet-hole ridden house symbolizes the reality of Vigário Geral, a favela that is far different than Rocinha. Here the mediators and the associations have a hard time ending conflicts between gangs and public authorities. It is a sad truth that since the beginning of this year around 600 people have died in Rio because of police actions. There is still much work to be done by conflict mediators, a new breed of peace-keeping soldier.