FEBRUARY 2013

White Flow Favela da Rocinha

There were three main factions of drugs and firearm in Rio de Janeiro: Red Command (CV), Third Command (TC) and Friends of Friends (ADA) racing to get the power of firearm, drugs and crime. Two years ago, this project would not be feasible inside this favela considered the most dangerous in the country. A person running inside the Rocinha was the best sight for a bandit unload your firearm and demonstrate its power.

The pacification deployed in Rocinha was a new program developed by the Department of State Security and has had positive results through the Peacekeeping Police Units (UPPs), which approximates the population and police. They deployed social programs in communities previously neglected.

I've got four licenses to run and film inside the Favela. A runner and resident of Rocinha's showed me the most beautiful and safest route to get to the highest peak of this "mountain". Today there are many "motocicle-taxi" or "motocicle-boy" taking people from the base to their homes on the top of the hill Rocinha.

I started running from the base of the Rocinha, up the main street, passing lanes, alleys and stairways to reach the top of Peak Dionésia covered by the forest. From the Peak Dionésia, I went down toward the base of the UPP (Police Pacification Unit) getting again the main street of Rocinha and finishing the "vertical climb" on the most famous peak, the Peak Visual. A total of 4.2 km and 400m high from sea level in a time of 25'08'' min. Many cars, residents and police transiting through the main street enjoying the Carnival in Rio. I visited children and gave them a "class", playing how to run uphill.

Today there are two events organized in Rocinha, a mountain bike race with BOPE's help (Special Police Operations Battalion) and another 10 km road run race. The UPP's help them.

In my opinion, this stable community and the UPP's occupation should have happened more than 100 years ago. The public safety is the most important issue to be discussed today in Rio de Janeiro. A rifle bullet reaches five thousand miles away, disarmament was the most successful in the Favela Rocinha.

Experts say crime is everywhere in the world, Paris, Barcelona, Hong Kong, South Africa, Miami, Chicago.

The government of Rio de Janeiro has worked heavily in this development and promises to pacify another 40 favelas to the World Cup in 2014 and another 60 more before the 2016 Olympic Games. The government and the people believe in this process. Gradually the security is improving and is an example for other states and cities around the world.

I am very happy to have lived this experience. Sports like football, capoeira or run can be an opportunity for children to play now. Not like before, where the game was the firearms and drugs.