Brazil Cleans Up Crime for World Cup and Olympics

December 6, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. raid (v.) [reyd] – to attack with the plan of getting or destroying something
Example: The police raided the house where a famous criminal was hiding.

2. slum (n.) [sluhm] – a poor place
Example: Most people living in the slums have trouble with finishing school and getting good jobs.

3. seize (v.) [seez] – to get, usually by force
Example: The airport security seized 4 kilograms of drugs from a passenger.

4. pacification (n.) [puh-sif-i-key-shuh n] – the act of creating or bringing peace
ExamplePacification of angry fans is one of the duties of the police during major sports events.

5. for good (idiom) [fawr goo d] – permanently, forever
Example: The city’s new anti-drug bill will hopefully stop the selling of drugs for good.

Read the text below.

In preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, the Brazilian government has been raiding crime-filled slums or “favelas” [fah-VEH-luhs] in Rio de Janeiro. Since the cleanup started in 2008, police have already gained control of 30 favelas. The plan is to secure 40 favelas before the World Cup to ensure safety at the events.

Last October, two thousand policemen and military soldiers raided favelas Jacarezinho and Manguinhos, seizing illegal weapons and arresting dozens of people.

Favelas like Jacarezinho and Manguinhos are small and far from popular tourist places, but criminals and drug dealers moved to these small favelas after police seized control of bigger slums.

Police raids seem to have become less violent over the months. The weekend raid of Jacarezinho and Manguinhos killed five people who were suspected drug dealers.

In contrast, the 2010 raid of Alemao favela resulted in gun shootouts and the deaths of more than 30 people.

To avoid a repeat of such violence, police now give advance warning days before they raid a slum. However, some people say this is ineffective because it gives criminals a chance to run away.

A “Police Pacification Unit” (Unidade de Policia Pacificadora/UPP) will be established in Jacarezinho and Manguinhos to keep the slums safe.

Manguinhos will have its UPP in December, while Jacarezinho will have its UPP in January next year. Some slums lost police protection for a long time, but Major Bruno Xavier of the UPP assures the public that the police plan to stay in these places for good.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think a country that has problems with crime should still host  international sports events? Why do you think so?
·         Why do you think countries make a big effort to “cleanup” when they host international events?

Discussion B

·         What are the benefits of hosting a major sports event like the Olympics or the World Cup?
·         Has your country ever hosted the Olympics or the World Cup? Would you like your country to host a major sports event again? Why or why not?


December 6, 2012