I’ve been holed up at home working in the studio with my head between 2 speakers and in front of the computer monitor. Sometimes, I can only take so much and I have to get out. I went up to the baile at Cantagalo at about 2:30am last friday night, as I often do. Piranhão was manning the 1s and 2s…er, well, the MP3s on his laptop. The rapaziada was in FULL effect, going around the quadra with one hand on the person in front and their AK or glock or whatever in the other hand. Nothing terribly unusual about this, although, this doesn’t usually happen INSIDE the quadra with SO MANY manos in the bondinho…..At one point, the music was cut and the MC asked for a minute of silence to remember those that were at Tabajaras that are no longer with us (see below).
This also is not very unusual, but that night, it was PACKED. The contrast of being between 2 opposing walls of speakers cranking out funk to the point that it made your clothes visibly vibrate to the same room full of completely silent people was tremendous. NO ONE spoke. Nobody moved. Weight being shifted from one foot to the other, a sniffle, a far away motorcycle and a rooster crowing down the street were the only sounds. Silence when you are alone and/or in a distant natural place are one thing, but a very large space filled with unspeaking, unmoving people is impressive.
About 2 weeks ago, there was an invasion of Ladeira dos Tabajaras by traficantes from Rocinha. After a big shoot out with police and local traficantes, part of the crew from Rocinha escaped into the forest nearby where they spent days before trying to escape last week. In the reports that I found, it’s a bit unclear, but the police then invaded Ladeira dos Tabajaras the following week (last week) where they killed at least 4 suspected traficantes (supposedly from Tabajaras – the guys from Rocinha were supposedly arrested april 1 while trying to escape).
Here is a a video of part of the shoot out from march 23 in Copacabana.
and another video talking about the invasion of the guys from Rocinha and where they tried to escape to. This gives a little better better idea of how a war like this can happen in the middle of a very densely populated city.
It continues to blow my mind that this sort of things happens ALL THE TIME here. This is NOT an isolated incident! Does this only come to the attention of the media and mainstream society when there is a shoot out on their block?
But, anyway, everything is just fine now…….Rambo has arrived! And, if that’s not enough, we can sick the Terminator on their ass.
A few blocks down the street (in the other direction)……….Sylvester Stallone just arrived in Rio. He is here to do a film about mercenaries. Seriously.