Today we spent several hours in a community in Rio that is similar to Rocinha, Gardenia Azul. Arthur and I were there to interview a family and were permitted to get footage of the community.
We were welcomed into the homes and were treated like old friends. We saw women doing laundry, children playing and men working. Music seemed to always be playing and there were even people dancing in the street.
However, like Rocinha, violence can be a problem in Gardenia Azul. We were shown a spot where a man was murdered, shot 11 times. Yet unlike Rochina, Gardenia Azul is not governed by organized crime, but by militia men who keep drugs out of the community but charge people for their services. There is a fight between militias and organized crime to expand territory, and unfortunately people in those communities end up in the crossfire.
That’s what happened to the man I just mentioned.