Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

#CecilTheLion : Hunter Becomes The Hunted

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Erdogan’s gamble: Turkey launches offensives on PKK and Islamic State Group (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Europe’s shame: Calais migrant crisis deepens (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The River Seine, the lifeblood of the French capital

Read more

FOCUS

Remote learning brings hope to Brazil’s rural poor

Read more

ENCORE!

'The Little Prince', from the book to the screen

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Indian execution like a 'Hollywood courtroom drama'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A new player in Syria's war

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Secular bloggers live in fear after spate of killings

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

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

2015-07-21 Iran

Iran: How the nuclear deal was done

On July 14th, Iran and six world powers struck a deal that brought an end to over 12 years of bitter stalemate. Tehran, suspected by some nations of attempting to acquire an...

Read more

2015-07-17 India

India's Christians forced to pray in secret

Many Christians in India have to pray in secret. Churches are being set on fire, believers attacked and property vandalised. This rising tide of violence shows no sign of...

Read more

2015-07-09 China

Is China choking to death?

A barely visible sun and a thick, smothering smog... After decades of rampant industrialisation, China is suffocating. Last year, the government declared war on pollution and...

Read more

2015-07-03 Libya

Libya in search of unity

Four years after the fall of Gaddafi, Libya is deeply divided with two governments and two armies. The Islamist militia Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) controls the capital Tripoli....

Read more

2015-06-26 Kenya

Kenya's vicious circle: Terrorism and counter-terrorism

Last April, two years after the massacre at the Nairobi shopping mall, Kenya was again plunged into horror. At Garissa University in eastern Kenya, 148 students were shot dead in...

Read more