The recent arrest of ten police officers in the Favela da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, for their alleged involvement of the murder of 40 year old bricklayer and father of four, Amarildo, might have come as a shock to the outside world, but to many Brazilians it was something that they have come to live with as a regular occurrance in Brazil...
About half a million pilgrims descended on Copacabana beach marking the start of World Youth Day in the pouring rain ready to answer the Pope's call to become missionaries. The rain did nothing to deter the young people as they prepared for the Opening Mass. It was a very different scene to what I am used to in England, or even to what I witnessed at the last WYD.
The announcement of the World cup and Olympic games in 2014 and 2016 respectively turned the dynamics of the way favelas were neglected by the State. The governor of Rio and mayor shortly announced afterwards that they would be deploying a new tactic called "pacification" to combat crime and liberate the favelas from the control of drug gangs.
For the money the Brazilians spent on redevelopment they could have just levelled the Maracanã and built a new venue, but the modernisation has worked well and maintains just the right amount of history. The aisles are wide, the seats are comfortable, and the view to the pitch is excellent with fans feeling very close to the action.