Since Brazil won the World Cup hosting rights in 2007, the city of Rio de Janeiro alone has forcibly removed twenty-two thousand families from their homes, mostly in the favelas. CCTV Correspondent Gerry Hadden talks with young football players of the Rio area, who’ve lost their homes. And some say it is due to the game they love.
They are the hillside shanty towns, where most residents of Rio live. The city denies the displacements are due to the Cup. It says that the homes were at risk of flooding and landslides.
However the public doesn’t seem too convinced. The forced evictions are part of what’s been fueling months of protests. Many believe Brazil’s rich are using the World Cup as an excuse to snatch up their poor slums, slums that enjoy a privileged view of the sea.
Even though the passion for football runs deep in Brazil, some Rio residents are so upset about being displaced from their homes, they are hoping their own country gets eliminated from the World Cup tournament. Eomar Freitas is one of them. “I’ll be rooting against Brazil. If they’re eliminated I’ll be happy. All the money they have spent on Maracanã and other stadiums could have gone to other things.” Freitas is a displaced resident and says more focus should be towards education and healthcare.
If favela displacement continues, evictees fear they’ll end up nowhere and be at the mercy of the militias.