Society

Mapping Rio de Janeiro’s gang influence

gangs rio de janeiro
Military operation in Rocinha favela. Photo: Fernando Frazão/ABr

In certain neighborhoods, the “Wonderful City” of Rio de Janeiro resembles more of a warzone than a tourist attraction. For years, the city’s unique terrain has been fought over tooth-and-nail by a selection of rival drug gangs, with the added element of armed urban militias, and pushback from the militarized and heavy-handed police.

The city is made up of four main regions: the largely peaceful historic city center and the swanky millionaire’s playground of Zona Sul, home to the famous beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. Gang activity exists in these regions, largely directed at selling drugs to rich...

Access all of The Brazilian Report

Less expensive than a coffee!

Enjoy your 30-day limited-time offer for US$ 0.25 a week