Reflections on the Rio Olympics

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Security issues were front and centre over the last few weeks, and the sporadic acts of violence towards athletes and tourists beg the question of why this occurs in Rio. A culture of corruption and unaddressed social inequality exists in Brazil, one which contributes to the endemic violence that occurs not only in Brazilian favelas (slums), but also spills into mainstream society. The fact that Brazilian institutions have historically being governed by elites and for elites has caused a political vacuum to develop in the favelas. Corruption and the political neglect of those who live below the poverty line have allowed drug lords to establish a parallel power structure in these areas. This reality has greatly compromised law and order for the entire population. Violence in the city of Rio is like a cancer that has spread out from particular areas, and not even the most advanced medical treatment will be sufficient to reverse such a process.


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