Rio Steps up Pacification Drive in City’s Biggest Slum

first_img Brazilian authorities stepped up a pacification drive in Rio’s largest shantytown Thursday, nearly doubling the police presence in a hillside favela overlooking the city’s most famous beaches. The move, part of a strategy to stamp out crime and restore security ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, was the second phase of a drive that began in November when helicopter-backed forces swept into Rocinha to clear out drug gangs. “The re-conquest is permanent,” said Colonel Rogerio Seabra, who is coordinating the pacification effort. “We are not going to spare any efforts and we are determined to establish proximity with the people of Brazil’s biggest favela.” From Thursday on, a 700-strong Pacific Police Unit, or UPP, will establish a permanent presence in Rocinha, whose 70,000 people live on a hillside wedged between two of Rio’s wealthiest neighborhoods. They are replacing a 400-man force that has been patrolling the slum since November’s sweep, aimed at breaking the hold of violent drug gangs over the area. Violence has been reduced and drug traffickers no longer carry weapons in the streets, according to residents, although 12 murders have been recorded so far this year. Police said the new UPP will try to establish relationships with residents, whose help is seen as crucial to combat crime. So far, authorities have deployed 28 of the UPPs in 175 local communities, with 6,770 agents, according to military police statistics. Authorities plan to deploy 40 UPPs by 2014. By Dialogo September 24, 2012last_img read more

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Mills, Farm Tools, Etc.

first_imgThe proprietor of the Standard Garage in Ganta says the business has given him total independence now unlike the time he was employed with companies.Mr. Amos S. Gbatu told the Daily Observer that apart from making small tools including hoes, his garage now produces mills for processing sugarcane, oil palm, palm kernel, and cassava products.Mr. Gbatu said he is one of those who received early vocational training at the Wallenburg Vocational Training Center in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.He started the Standard Garage in Nimba in 1997 and has worked for many years, thereby giving him broader knowledge in metal works.According to Mr. Gbatu, he was driven into the career through passion, believing he had a solid command of the theoretical and practical knowledge associated with metal works.“There is no way another person will make your career important unless you do it. If you learn anything and do not put it into use, you will absolutely not get anything out of it,” he said.According to him, some non-governmental institutions including USAID-FED do hire his services to provide training and also to produce some tools for farmers.He disclosed that USAID-FED had provided them a grant and a power generator to for training purposes.Although food processing machines produced at Standard Garage are expensive, Mr. Gbatu said his company is flexible with customers to the extent that he gives them time to make payment.To ensure safety of food produced in the machine, he explained that they use certain kinds of metal to produce the machines and not just any metal. “The kind of steel we use is hard to get rusty,” he said, confident about the safety of food produced from the machines.According to Mr. Gbatu, the output of the Standard Garage has drawn attention of not only people of Nimba, but also the belt of farmers in Bong County.“Many farmers in the two counties now are actively engaged in cassava and oil palm productions, because heavy machinery that helps to produce end products of these food crops are made in Ganta,” Mr. Gbatu said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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