Opinion

Favela Lives Don’t Matter in Brazil

The killing of a 14-year-old boy is just the latest chapter of a story that has become all-too-common for favela residents

favela lives matter brazil rio de janeiro
Police operation at the Nova Holanda favela, in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Tomaz Silva/ABr

Fourteen-year-old João Pedro was playing at his cousin’s home in the favela complex of Salgueiro — in São Gonçalo, a low-income municipality on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro — when a bullet hit him in the stomach during a  police operation in the favela. Cops stormed the house and carried his body into a helicopter, without giving any information to — or getting authorization from — any member of the boy’s family. His whereabouts would only be known by his father, 40-year-old informal worker Nelson Pinto, 17 long hours later. But it would be too late. João Pedro’s dead...

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