Is Rio's Tough Love Strategy Against Violence Working?
A conference to examine the effects of the Rio de Janeiro Pacifying Police Units (UPPs).
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Three years after the first Pacifying Police Unit (UPP) took control in the favela Dona Marta in Rio de Janeiro, after expelled drug dealers that ran the place for years, a comprehensive survey examined the impact of the government strategy to reduce crime and violence and bring peace and services to the affected areas. The findings were presented on December 13, 2011 at a seminar hosted by the Brazil Institute. Conducted by Maurício Moura, visiting scholar at the George Washington University, the survey’s purpose was the gage the opinion of the people supposed to benefit from the government intervention. The study confirmed the overall positive reaction the UPPs have generated among the affected population, but also shed light on the challenges that the residents of these communities face, from lack of public services to employment, which must be overcome to secure its sustainability in the long run.
From August 22 to September 2, 2011, Moura and his team interviewed 3,816 residents from 17 communities where UPPs were established. The purpose of the survey, commissioned by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, was to draw a picture of the communities, to be used as a tool for public policy decision-making. The study covered not only safety and demographic issues but also poverty, inequality, entrepreneurship, financial services, community problems, social programs, education, individual resources, and more.
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