Mega-Events Take Toll on Brazil's Slum Dwellers

This op-ed from <em>Al Jazeera</em> looks at some of the negative ways preparations for the World Cup and Olympics are affecting the poor in Brazil.
May 12, 2011, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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The two major sporting events will happen in Brazil in 2014 and 2016, and some argue that preparations have a disproportionately negative impact on the poor.

"In the 21st century, these sporting events require more than stadiums and hotels. The host country must provide a massive security apparatus, a willingness to crush civil liberties, and the will to create the kind of "infrastructure" these games demand. That means not just stadiums, but sparkling new stadiums. That means not just security, but the latest in anti-terrorist technology. That means not just new transportation to and from venues, but hiding unsightly poverty from those travelling to and from the games. That means a willingness to spend billions of dollars in the name of creating a playground for international tourism and multi-national sponsors.

Every day in the favelas, the slums that surround Brazil's major cities, these international athletic festivals are vividly recalling the ways of The Brick. Amnesty International, the United Nations, and even the International Olympic Committee - fearful of the damage to their "brand", are raising concerns. It's understandable why."

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Published on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 in Al Jazeera
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