Comical Inflation – 1952

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A shipwrecked person – I don’t understand how you immediately got used to this life!

The other person – It’s cause I came from Rio. There we didn’t have meat, butter, electricity and water, and we were also surrounded by sharks…

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The Avalanche

– If he continues digging for HIGH SALARIES, the whole thing will come down!

(the other rocks are high prices, higher taxes and inflation)

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– Mister, there’s a Barnabé over there who also wants a raise!

Getúlio – I already raised (prices on) meat, milk, bread, the bus, boats, trams, sugar, butter, coffee and this guy talks to me about a raise?

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The Elevator

The attendent – Who wants to go up?

(from left to right – people representing meat, bread, buter and sugar)

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In the country of contraband

– They increased the price of a sack of oranges!

– In compensation there’s an abundance of citrus preserves…

(Marmelada is slang for crooked deals)

 

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– Everything is going up! And Getúlio?

– He’s going up too. He’s going to spend the summer in Petrópolis…

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Juruna – The indigenous politician

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The only indigenous Federal representative in Brazil’s history, elected by PDT/RJ (1983 – 1987), Mário Juruna, returning money offered to him in an attempt at bribery, in 1984.


“He was born in Namurunjá village, near Barra do Garças, in the state of Mato Grosso, the son of the Xavante cacique (chief) Apoenã. He lived in the jungle, without contact with civilization, until the age of 17, when he became cacique.

In the 1970s he became famous for walking the halls of FUNAI, in Brasilia to fight for land rights of Indians, while carrying a tape-recorder, which he used to record everything that was said to him and to prove that the authorities, in most cases, did not keep their word.

He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil by the Democratic Labour Party from 1983–1987, representing Rio de Janeiro. His election had strong repercussions in Brazil and the world. He was responsible for the creation of a permanent commission for Indians, which brought formal recognition to issues related to Indians. In 1984, he denounced the businessman Calim Eid for having attempted to bribe him to vote for Paulo Maluf, the presidential candidate supported by the military regime then in power.” – Wikipedia

If you want to see more, try this Globo Reporter clip (8 min) from 1984.

Stories of favela resistance

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Carlos dos Santos Jesus was president of the Ilha das Dragas Residents Association, a small favela located next to the Clube Caiçaras, in the Zona Sul. On February 6, 1969, a Thursday, he was on his doorstep wearing shorts and sandals when he was confronted by two armed men around midday. They forced Carlos to get into a truck and took him to an unknown destination. These and other cases are remembered in the Maré Museum’s course Living History – The history of Rio de Janeiro’s favela resistance, which takes place every Saturday of November 2016.

The initiative’s goal is to show the initial growth of these communities in the city and their later appearance in other parts of the country. The registration period is over, but a new edition is forecast for January 2017. The classes are ministered by researchers and favela residents for a group of 40 people. Having started on the 5th, the course is reserving the last two Saturdays  to discuss what happened in Rocinha, Borel and other areas during the dictatorship period. “We want to study and to try to understand who our missing political disappearances from the favelas are, and where they lived”, explains journalist Gizele Martins, a resident of Maré who created the course.

Carlos dos Santos de Jesus can’t even be considered himself among the “disappeared”, since the outcome of his kidnapping is unknown. His name is cited in the State Truth Commission (CEV) report (pdf), which dedicates an entire chapter to the actions of the military regime in the favelas. According to one document, more than 100 thousand people were affected by the forced removals of communities between 1964 and 1973 (see below for removals by governor). It wasn’t rare for these actions to involve political violence, such as what happened in the case of Carlos. Beyond this, those who lost their shacks were normally taken to a far-away place, without infrastructure or the offer of employment.

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“Removals were a strategy to dismantle associations that emerged and were seen as ‘communist cells'”, explains Fransergio Goulart, historian and resident of Manguinhos. In response to this, institutions such as the Federation of Favela Associations in the State of Guanabara (Fafeg) began to mobilize themselves (see below). But the response didn’t take long to arrive. On May 3, 1968, the Federal Government’s decree 62.654, created the Metropolitan Area Social Interest Housing Coordination (Chisam). The entity, responsible for carrying out “a continuing program of favela removal in short, medium and long-term”, existed until 1973. “Chisam had the goal of ending all favelas in Rio by 1975”, affirms Mauro Amoroso, PhD in History at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation and author of the article Golpe militar e remoções das favelas cariocas (Military coup and Rio favela removals).


“While the law is equal for everyone, the strongest always win, and removals to far-away places occur, bringing various inconveniences to the salaried man. What will be of the working man when the city reaches Vila Aliança, Vila Kennedy and Cidade de Deus? Where will you go?”

(Extract from the invitation of Fafeg’s II Favela Resident Congress, published on 11/03/1968 by JB).


Opposing the removals always carried consequences. The most famous case is that of the Praia do Pinto residents, a favela that turned into one of Vinicius de Morães chronicles and was the target of a fire attributed to “unknown causes” on May 10, 1969. Before its tragic end, three of the community leaders were arrested on March 12 by agents from the Department of Social Political Order (Dops) for incentivizing residents to resist the forced move. Praia do Pinto and the Ilha das Dragas found themselves near the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. “The Lagoon was next in line for real estate speculation at the end of the 60s. And having a favela nearby devalued any undertaking”, affirms Mauro.

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Meeting with the Governor

Diva da Costa Campos was the wife of Carlos dos Santos de Jesus. On February 11, 1969, she and another three wives of community leaders from Ilha das Dragas, kidnapped five days before, had a meeting with Negrão de Lima, governor of the then-State of Guanabara. The politician argued that the removal of the community was necessary for the widening of Epitácio Pessoa and Borges de Medeiros Avenues and asked the women if their husbands were “agitators”. “No, they are workers, governor, we can guarantee it”, affirmed the four women – as was reported in Correio da Manhã. He promised to take action in relation to the case.

Removal politics weren’t the only arbitrary acts committed in relation to the favelas during the dictatorship. Created in 1967 by Negrão de Lima, the “E” decree number 3330 foresaw that resident associations “were subject to interventions by the Secretary of Social Services”. This came to happen in 1973, when the leadership of the Resident Association of  the Morro do Juramento was accused of harboring “leftist elements” and was placed under control of a provisional government junta nominated by the State. Additionally, the CEV report shows occurrences in communities of assassins motivated by political reasons. This is the case with Joel dos Santos, arrested while he handed out pamphlets in Borel on March 15, 1971. Black and a PCdoB militant, he was tortured and killed on Army installations. His body was found by the CEV in the Ricardo de Albuquerque cemetery.

“The favela resident didn’t manage to reach the category of political prisoner”

The so-called “eradication” of the Ilha das Dragas favela happened on Februray 24 and 25, 1969. After the kidnapping of the community leaders, the local population didn’t oppose resistance. Close to 300 families were taken to the Baixada Fluminense, Cidade de Deus, and other locations in the metropolitan region. The information was published by the newspapers of the time, which didn’t publish new information about Carlos Santos de Jesus. In Mauro’s opinion, he could have been released the following week after the kidnapping or he could have been killed by the dictatorship. “The favela resident didn’t manage to reach the category of political prisoner. When they disappeared, there wasn’t a militancy to demand the location afterwards”, explains the historian.

“At the turn of the decade, from 1970 to 1980, favelas stopped being seen as a problem for social services and became a question of public safety”, affirms Mauro. He remembers that the removals never stopped happening, even though they became less frequent in the 80s and 90s. In recent years, cases such as that of Vila Autódromo rekindled past memories and put the subject up for discussion again. For those interviewed, the victories with the end of the dictatorship in 1985 didn’t reach the communities. “There isn’t democracy without the right to come and go with the police controlling people’s routines”, says Fransergio. “In that era, the enemy of the State in the favela was communism. Today, it’s drug trafficking. The discourse shifted, but the practices were maintained”, he concludes.

Source (PT)

Pasmado Hill – Making room for the rich

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The Pasmado Tunnel connects Botafogo with Copacabana and Urca, passing through Pasmado hill. Construction started in 1947 and ended in 1952. The city, at the time, had horrible transit problems due to a surge in car ownership, which resulted in traffic congestion and accidents. The Lacerda government decided to relieve some of the pressure by making the tunnel. What ended up shortening travel time for those with enough money also meant increasing travel time for those with no money.

Following the opening of the tunnel, a small slum on top of the hill, known as the Favela do Pasmado, began to really grow in size, but by early 1964 it was removed and the space would be turned into a park and lookout point (which still exists).

Once the forced removal was complete (see images below), firefighters lit a controlled fire to burn any semblance of what existed before (a “purification by fire”, if you will). In total, 3,900 residents – or 887 families – were forced out and moved to the “projects”, mostly to Bangu. What was promised to them by the government, as incentive to accept the move, hadn’t become reality in October of ’64, as can be seen in this image saying they merely went from one favela to another.

Keep in mind, the post-removal fire is the opposite of what happened a few years later at Praia do Pinto in Leblon, which first was burned to the ground, then the residents were removed.

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If you’re interested in a good academic read on this favela removal, go here (PT). For the general wave of removals that happened in the 60s, there’s a promising 2013 documentary called Remoção out there but it doesn’t seem like it’ll be released publicly at any point. Below is the trailer.

The Pasmado tunnel, by the way, is also famous for a 1968 film starring singer Roberto Carlos, in which he passes through in a small helicopter.

Celebrations – Then & Now

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The Centennial At The Door
Jeca – My lady, the Centennial is already here.
Exposition – Let him in. I will greet him just like this, in a shirt…


In 1922, Rio and the rest of Brazil celebrated 100 years of independence from the Portuguese crown (for which even the Portuguese president was in attendence). The so-called “Exposição Internacional do Centenário da Independência”, which lasted from September of 1922 until March of the following year, included the participation of 14 other countries and still stands as the largest international exposition in Brazil.

But how did the people feel about it? Famed Carioca novelist and journalist Lima Barreto penned a piece in Careta magazine in late September 1922 about his people and their feelings. Sadly, he would die of a heart attack one month later at the age of 41.

If one swaps the word Centennary for Olympics, it could have almost been written today. I apologize beforehand for any questionable phrasing, some parts were tough to parse being they were written almost 100 years ago.

Clique na imagem abaixo pra aumentá-la.


The Centennial
by Lima Barreto

“What one notices, in the current commemorative parties for the passage of the centennial of the proclamation of Brazil’s Independence, is that they are unfolding completely alien to the people of the city. The impartial observer doesn’t see in them any enthusiasm, doesn’t feel in the soul any patriotic vibration. If in our ‘little’ people there is no indifference; there is, at least, incomprehension regarding the date that is being commemorated. Moreover, our Carioca people were always like this: we never took national dates seriously, which always deserved this displeasing attitude that is being taken now with the Centennial, celebrated so pompously with dances and banquets.

There’s a story from a British humorist in which he makes a homeless man in London speak in the following manner: “I am a subject of Your Majesty Britian. I have, aside from the British Isles, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand and I don’t know which other lands; however, I dress myself with rags, I sleep, most times, outdoors, and I spend my days without food. What does it matter to me to nominally have so many lands? Nothing. Before [anything] I would [prefer to] have a few coins per day.”

I believe the Carioca reasons in a similar way. I would say to him: “What’s the point of José Bonifácio, Pedro I, Alvares Cabral, the Amazon, the gold of Minas, the magical Exposition, Minas Gerais, if I have a life of counting coins, to be able to live?”

Such a state of spirit is not favorable for patriotic enthusiasms; on the contrary, it must bring about general impoverishment and dispondency.

Times are tough; Everything is overpriced. A poor head of a family has to thing constantly about tomorrow. Will he have time to be impressed with patriotic festivities which are mostly ball games and other futilities rather than serious protests of a cult for a country and its past?

Brazil is going through a curious crisis that I don’t know how to classify. With these Centennial parties, we see one of its manifestations. Open any newspaper. Pages and pages are filled with news of sportive rivalries that are destined to consecrate the current ephemerality. The date in itself is forgotten; as is everything that can be related to it; but things about balls and boxing are front and center.

So that we don’t celebrate 100 years of our political independence. What we do is to transform Rio de Janeiro into a large field of boxing fights and horse races.

I said at the start of these brief lines that the people didn’t associate themselves with the Centennial parties. I was wrong. The sportive ones willingly do. For them, and for those of lamps and military parades.

The people will understand the relationship they’ve got.”

Careta Sept 1922

Folha published an article about Barreto today also which I was unaware of, but it doesn’t mention the story above. Read it here (PT).