Corona response Paraisopolis in Dutch national newspaper

Our local guide and contact in the favela Paraisopolis in Sao Paulo, Acacio Reis, gave samba lessons in Utrecht two years ago. Still Acacio manages to enlighten the days with good grooves, taking proper safety measures. These times, the concern is about the challenges arising from the global corona pandemic. The government offers hardly any help, especially in these neighbourhoods, but the Paraisopolis community is close-knit and takes matters into its own hands, thanks to a good friend of Acacio: Gilson Rogrigues

(Organized) crime is never far away in the favelas. Still the story of Paraisópolis is not that of drug traffickers who enforced the quarantine. At the end of March, gangs in Rio de Janeiro made a good impression in the media with their corona approach in the poor neighborhoods. But in São Paulo, the inhabitants took care of themselves. “We decided not to wait for outside help,” says Rodrigues. “The state did not respond to the massacre, they did nothing. That made us realize: if covid hits us, we’re on our own.”

for the entire article (in Dutch and behind paywall): De Volkskrant, 12 augustus 2020

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