Brazil’s prison population of 700,000 is one of the highest in the world. The occupancy rate has been estimated at 165%, with some cells so full that prisoners can’t lie down. Brutality, endemic violence and riots are common. The prisoners that leave the penal system are even more hardened criminals than when they entered the […]

This is the story of an amateur boxer turned social anthropologist who decided to do something about the violence affecting street children in Brazil’s favelas. An impossible task? Luke Dowdney’s passion for boxing allows him to reach even hard-core young drug traffickers on Brazil’s streets. How is it possibly, you may ask, for anyone to […]

By Danielle Carpenter (June 2012) – Rio+20 sounds like the name of a band, or perhaps a kind of sunscreen that works best in the southern hemisphere. In fact, Rio+20 is the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. It will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20-22 June 2012. Coming […]

Is there ever any good news from slums? Yes! In Rio’s famed favelas, law enforcement efforts are cleaning out the drug gangs, police officers occasionally take part in the outdoor activities of residents and children play in the streets in what used to be extremely dangerous neighborhoods. It’s been two and a half years since “police pacification units” […]