25 de enero de 2020
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
Hispanic World

Indignation, fear in Paraisopolis, the Brazilian shantytown where 9 died

By Alba Santandreu

By Alba Santandreu

Sao Paulo, Dec 2 (efe-epa).- On the streets of Paraisopolis, the second-largest "favela," or shantytown, in Sao Paulo, indignation and fear permeate the atmosphere of this poor Brazilian neighborhood where on the weekend nine young people were trampled to death when the crowd at a massive street dance party panicked during a police operation.

Few want to comment on the tragedy that hit the neighborhood on Sunday and those who do whisper their remarks or ask to talk inside out of fear of reprisals from the police or groups of drug traffickers, who control almost the entire favela and the big street party known as DZ7, an outdoor "funk" dance fest that attracts thousands each weekend along Ernest Renan Street.

Just a short distance from the scene of the tragedy, in a humble house on one of the favela's hundreds of narrow cul-de-sacs, Maria (not her real name) woke up Sunday morning to cries for help and the sound of gunfire.

It was just a little after 5 am and the police had just moved in firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd at the "funk party" where more than 5,000 young people had been dancing. The crowd bolted and nine people - none of them over age 23 - were trampled to death, including four minors.

"Not everyone who was at the dance is from Paraisopolis. The people didn't know where the way out was and were like seasick cockroaches, not knowing which way to run," she told EFE.

When dawn broke and she left her house to go to work, she came upon a "scene of terror." There were bloodstains on the street, along with dozens of shoes, caps, pieces of jewelry, ID cards and other belongings dropped in the melee, along with assorted pepper-spray cans used by the police during their operation.

According to the police version, the stampede came when officers tried to move into the crowd in pursuit of two suspects who had disappeared in the throng after opening fire at police who had been pursuing them.

Police said that people in the crowd hurled bottles and stones at them, so they deployed tear gas and fired rubber bullets to protect themselves.

But Carlos, a bar owner on Ernest Renan Street who was present when the confusion broke out, told a different story.

"The police were not pursuing anyone. Their version is a lie. And the young people were not trampled. Some of them were killed by the police," he told EFE at the door of his business, the revenue from which depends largely on the funk dances that run from Thursday through Sunday in that part of the favela.

Cellphone videos shot by local residents and posted on the social networks show hundreds of young people being cornered in narrow streets by police, who then set upon them with truncheons and beat them savagely.

Everyone, however, agrees that the police operations in this community, where more than 55,000 people live in marginal conditions, have increased in recent months, a type of "reprisal" - they say - after a police officer was killed in a shootout with criminals.

The police say that the street dances are a facade for criminal activity of all kinds, including rape and drug trafficking.

"There are drugs, young girls are made pregnant, there's sex, they also rob people ..." said Military Police commissioner Emiliano da Silva Neto, who called for the "uniting" of all security forces to "resolve that problem."

The Paraisopolis Neighborhood Association, meanwhile, said that the funk dances are a place where people can enjoy themselves given "the lack of cultural opportunities" in the favelas.

Histórico de noticias
Democrats: Trump's conduct is not America first, it's Trump first

Washington, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- The Democratic lawmakers who are acting as "managers" - or prosecutors - in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the...

Chavistas march in Caracas, opposition fails to hold legislative session

Caracas, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- Supporters of Chavism on Thursday marched in Caracas to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the fall of the Marcos Perez Jimenez...

Mexican government hopes to use banana export example to expand China trade

Mexico City, Jan 23 (efe-epa).- The first shipment of 39 tons of Mexican bananas to China departed on Tuesday from the port of Manzanillo, a debut that the...

Trump inauguration organization committee sued for alleged corruption

Washington, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine on Wednesday sued the nonprofit committee designated by President Donald...

Democrats make their case against Trump at Senate impeachment trial

Washington, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- The Democratic "managers" of the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump on Wednesday began laying out in...

Pictoline, successful Mexican Web site tells the news with pictures

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Boeing doesn't expect 737 MAX to fly again until mid-2020

New York, Jan 21 (efe-epa).- Boeing announced Tuesday that it does not expect regulatory authorities to approve the return to service of its 737 MAX jets...

Weinstein case moves to opening arguments with witnesses in focus

New York, Jan 21 (efe-epa).- The the 12-person jury and three alternatives now selected, the sexual abuse trial of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein will...

First US case of Wuhan virus diagnosed

New York, Jan 21 (efe-epa).- A patient in Washington state has been diagnosed with the Wuhan virus, or coronavirus, in the first confirmed case of this type...

Millions of Mexicans take part in macro-earthquake simulation

Mexico City, Jan 20 (efe-epa).- Millions of people participated on Monday in a nationwide earthquake macro-drill as memories persist of the last big tremor...

Trump's defense team asks Senate to speedily reject impeachment case

By Susana Samhan

Thousands protest gun controls in Richmond, Virginia

Washington, Jan 20 (efe-epa).- Thousands of people, most of them men, demonstrated on Monday outside the Virginia state capitol building in Richmond against...

Young people committing suicide in Nicaragua due to social crisis

By Wilder Perez R.

Animals at Medellin zoo get ice cream to help them deal with the heat

Medellin, Colombia, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- Ice cream, copious amounts of water and refreshing baths are all part of the "Wild Coolness" initiative being...

Migrant caravan delays entry into Mexico, expected to double in size

By Pedro Pablo Cortes

Former UN chief Javier Perez de Cuellar celebrates 100th birthday in Lima

Lima, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- Peru's Javier Perez de Cuellar, the first Ibero-American to serve as secretary-general of the United Nations, is celebrating his...

#SuperCoralPlay social network campaign seeks to save coral reefs

By Alberto Domingo Carreiro

Pinochet victims join Chilean protesters 3 mo. into crisis

Santiago, Jan 16 (efe-epa).- Groups of relatives of the victims of the 1973-1990 Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, along with associations of those injured and...

Koala toys invade NY in fundraising campaign for fire-ravaged Australia

New York, Jan 16 (efe-epa).- Plush koala toys perched on lampposts, traffic signals, trees and scaffolding at different spots around New York City these...

Model Gigi Hadid ruled out as Weinstein juror

New York, Jan 16 (efe-epa).- The selection of the jury that will decide in a New York court whether Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is guilty of sexual...

Mural art exhibit to highlight the untold bridge between Mexico and the US

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

Guaido: Paramilitary takeover of parliament reveals Maduro's dictatorship

Caracas, Jan 15 (efe-epa).- Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called the actions under way on Wednesday outside the National Assembly (AN) building a...

Artificial intelligence posing new challenges for cybersecurity in 2020

By Marc Arcas

House Democrats deliver Trump impeachment articles to Senate

Washington, Jan 15 (EFE).- Articles of impeachment against Donald Trump were transmitted to the US Senate on Wednesday nearly a month after the...