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Rio: authorities clearing slums for security before World Youth Day

Catholic World News - April 17, 2013

Brazilian officials are taking steps to tighten security around Rio de Janeiro as they prepare for three major interneational events: the World Youth Day celebrations in July, the World Cup competition in 2014, and the Olympic Games in 2016.

The most controversial aspect of the security drive has been the effort to clear out urban slums, known in Brazil as favelas. Although the slums are regarded as centers of crime and drug use, the move to clear the neighborhoods has given rise to protests, with residents complaining about heavy-handed police tactics and noting that the poor have nowhere else to go.

The slum-clearing campaign involves considerable irony, since Pope Francis-- who will be visiting Brazil for World Youth Day-- is known for his work with the poor in the slums of Buenos Aires.

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