Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

A shield and a target: France's anti-terrorism operation 'Sentinelle'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc expose extent of sexual harassment

Read more

ENCORE!

Musical maestro Philippe Jordan on bringing passion to the Paris Opera

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Black day for democracy': Malta in mourning after top journalist is murdered

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Has the Weinstein scandal 'freed' women from their silence?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Europe’s newest face: Kurz’s election win indicates rightward shift for Austria

Read more

FOCUS

Turkey's brain drain: Turning their backs on limited freedom, declining economy

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Internet giants: Too big to be taxed?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU’s Karl-Heinz Lambertz: ‘Empowering regions and cities very important for Europe’s future’

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2013-03-01

EXCLUSIVE - Rio: on the frontline against crime

Guns and drugs are everyday currency in parts of Rio de Janeiro, which is set to welcome the world for the next World Cup and Summer Olympics. The authorities claim to have made progress in making previous no-go zones into places of relative safety. But the gangs are still in power. France 24's Nicolas Ransom in Brazil, embedded with drug traffickers, reports.

Pacification is the topic everybody is talking about in Rio de Janeiro. The 'marvelous city' faces staggering assassination statistics, particularly in the favelas. Since the end of 2008 the goal of Brazilian authorities has been to regain control of districts that have been in the hands of armed gangs for over 40 years.

So far it seems to have been successful. Crime and homicide rates have dropped, property rental prices have risen, and investors and businessmen are enjoying a peaceful working atmosphere. With its favelas momentarily 'pacified', Rio de Janeiro's standing is improving abroad.

But it is time to look beyond the statistics. Where are the gang leaders who have been moving from one favela to another? How do the drug markets work, and where have the heavy weapons gone? How do the people in favelas’ live?

To understand the kind of city Rio de Janeiro is, we wanted to shed-light upon the life of its gangs. The whole point was to understand drug trafficking from the inside. After months of negotiations, the leaders of the "CV", the Vermelho Commando, (or "Red Command"), agreed to let us in.

We were immersed in a realm of guns, drugs and parties, on the outskirts of Rio. These districts are still theirs, but for how long?
 

[Special thanks to Marco Alves for his help in researching the Vermelho Commando]

By Nicolas RANSOM

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-10-13 Europe

Video: Ghosts of 1917 revolution still haunt Russians

What remains of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia? FRANCE 24 brings you a special documentary on how Russians are living with this cumbersome legacy, as the Kremlin keeps a...

Read more

2017-10-06 Middle East

Video: After the war, life slowly returns to Mosul

FRANCE 24's reporters went back to Mosul, almost three months after Iraqi forces liberated the country’s second city from the grip of the Islamic State (IS) group. The scene of...

Read more

2017-09-29 Africa

Video: Beauty queens to the rescue in Sierra Leone

In January 2016, Sierra Leone, a small West African country torn apart by war and ranked among the poorest in the world, created a sensation at the Miss Universe event. For the...

Read more

2017-06-30 Saudi Arabia

Women in Saudi Arabia: A long road to equality

In Saudi Arabia, women are considered second-class citizens. They cannot drive or travel without the authorisation of a male guardian: a brother, father, cousin or even a son....

Read more

2017-09-22 Middle East

The torment of Christians living in Syria’s Khabur valley

In the last few years, Syria’s Christians have been subjected to violent attacks and kidnappings by the Islamic State group. Churches have been burnt and entire villages in the...

Read more