Under intervention, Rio relives problems of 200 years ago

Rio de Janeiro - illustration Jean-Baptiste Debret
Rio de Janeiro in the 1810s. By Jean-Baptiste Debret

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s picture-perfect city, faced rampant crime rates, problems caused by unplanned urban expansion, and latent social tensions.  The clueless government couldn’t manage the crisis, opting instead to rely on military forces to act as law enforcement in peripheral neighborhoods. Intervention troops were accused of brutality and of attempting against Brazil’s legislation.

While the previous paragraph could very well describe recent events in Rio de Janeiro, it is actually about Rio in 1808.

In that year, the Portuguese Court fled a French invasion and settled in Rio. The small city suddenly turned into the capital of the

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