Complexo do Alemao
Here´s a work piece I made about the one year and four months of Morro do Alemão´s process of pacification in Rio de Janeiro. It´s a short photo pre project to show nowadays daily life in Complex, watched from the recently installed cable car. It´s important to notice that the cable car which serves the community is as modern as the Swiss cable cars in Alpes.
The landscape, however, is completely different, and the purpose of the mechanism is in the thin line of serving the community with easy of access, touristic improvement, but nullifying outsiders experience of watching in a close perspective the real an persisting need of basic social assistance of local population as well. Under the wonderful cable car, people still live the violence of social exclusion, so the cable car might become unuseful for people who don´t have fair chances of other integration than the gains broughtby better locomotion.
I hope you all can enjoy this simple tilt crude work, and I´d like to know if you all would be interested in supporting the photographic & video project, not just telling the story of the complex, but the attempt to integrate people forgotten and excluded from society!
Complexo do Alemão’s History
The Complexo do Alemão is a huge slum territory with 13 settlements in North zone of Rio de Janeiro. The complex is famous for being one of the most violent areas of Rio city.
According to local people who live there, in 1920 decade, the Polish immigrant Leonard Kaczmarkiewicz acquired lands in the hills of Serra da Misericórdia, which was a rural region of Zone of Leopoldina. The landlord was called by the locals as “o alemão” (“the German”) and soon the area was also known as Morro do Alemão.
The territory begun to be settled by the forties. In sixties, the area received a great flux of Northeastern Brazilian immigrants. Twenty years later, in the first half of eighties, during Leonel Brizola’s Government, the Complexo do Alemão experienced a huge demographic development. In the same decade, criminality got strength in the community.
In 1994, Orlando Jogador, the most important trafficker in the Complexo do Alemão and one of the mainly leaders of Comando Vermelho was killed by a protégé, the trafficker Ernaldo Pinto de Medeiros, as known as Uê. With this happening, the Comando Vermelho lost the control on the complex for the Terceiro Comando, leaded by the dissident Uê.
After that a violent war started for the control for the local traffic. Some months after the death of Orlando Jogador, the Comando Vermelho got back the greatest part of the Complexo do Alemão, except the Morro do Adeus, that was kept under control of the Terceiro Comando, after ten years of confrontations between the factions, what resulted in many deaths.
In May, 2007, on the eve of PanAmerican Games in Rio de Janeiro, about 1.300 civil policemen, military and soldiers of Brazilian National Security Force have accomplished the major occupation of the slum ever since, after two policemen had been killed by traffickers in the community.
In the confrontation, 19 people were killed and 13 got wounded – seven victims were wounded by lost bullets. At that time. OAB (Ordem dos Advogados of Brazil – the Brazilian Federal Bar Association) divulged a note in which they assured that 11 of the fatal victims were not related to drug traffic. A report elaborated by three experts from Special Secretary of Human Rights of the Presidency of Republic pointed that six of the victims were shot on the face. In two of the cases, the experts affirmed that there were evidences of death by summary and arbitrary execution.
In December, 2008. the National Security Force went back to the Complexo do Alemão to attend the visit of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Ministers. At that time, Lula released the project Territórios da Paz, in which public policies for security and social inclusion have been implemented.
The Complexo do Alemão has been growing and developing fast since this latter event, and one of the most important steps for community integration with Rio city development and projects was the recent installation of the cable car, among many other improvements.Thank you.