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photo taken from estrada dos pinheiros - from Corcovado to the Alto de Boa Vista...
text taken from wikipedia...

'''Rocinha''' (literally, Portuguese for ''small ranch'') is a [[favela]] located within the South Zone of [[Rio de Janeiro]], between the districts of [[São Conrado]] and [[Gávea]]. It is built on a steep hillside overlooking the city, just one kilometre from the beach.

==Community==

Although Rocinha is still a [[favela]], it has developed from a [[shanty town]] into an urbanised [[slum]]. Today, almost all the houses in Rocinha are made from concrete and brick. Some buildings are three and four stories tall and almost all houses have basic sanitation, plumbing, and electricity. Compared to simple shanty towns or slums, Rocinha has a better developed infrastructure and hundreds of businesses such as [[bank]]s, [[drug store]]s, [[bus|bus lines]], [[cable television]], including locally based channel [[TV ROC]], and, at one time, even a [[McDonalds]] franchise, though it has since closed. These factors help classify Rocinha as a ''Favela Bairro'', or Favela District.There is a 40% chance of getting cholera due to murky water.

There are also a number of community organizations at work in Rocinha, including three neighborhood associations and the [[Fundação Dois Irmãos]], which coexists in the United States as the [[Two Brothers Foundation]], founded by [[Dr. Paul Sneed]], currently of [[San Diego State University]], which sends volunteers into the favela to teach language and cultural classes to both children and adults. Two Brothers Foundation/Club Brazil at the [[University of Oklahoma]] is also linked directly to the foundation.

Many celebrities have visited Rocinha, including [[Mikhail Gorbachev]] (during the [[Earth Summit]] of [[1992]]), [[Michael Jackson]] and actor [[Christopher Lambert]].

==Size==

The population of Rocinha is estimated to be anywhere from 60,000 to 150,000 though some believe more than 400,000 people live in the favela. It is the largest favela in Brazil and definitely one of the most highly developed in Latin America. Some episodes of the Brazilian television series [[Cidade dos Homens]] or [[City of Men]] were filmed in Rocinha.

==Criminal control==

Rocinha, like most of Rio’s favelas, is under the control of a criminal faction. The faction that controls Rocinha, as of late 2006, is the ADA ([[Amigos dos Amigos]]). Typically, Rio’s favelas fall under the control of one of three main factions, the CV ([[Comando Vermelho]]), the TC ([[Terceiro Comando]]), and the ADA. These groups are famous for providing much needed resources such as support for day care, medicine for the sick, and money for the poor. They also have been known to build asphalt roads, host huge community parties, and even sponsor other recreational spaces and activities, such as soccer pitches. These groups normally maintain a very high level of control over social behavior, strictly prohibiting [[street crime]]s such as rape, muggings, and break-ins within the favela. Even so, Rio’s criminal factions should not be glorified or romanticized as some sort of modern day [[Robin Hood]]s. Besides drug trafficking, such organizations in Rio have historically been involved in arms smuggling, bank robberies, kidnapping, and murder.

Despite the low incidence of street crime in favelas, the frequency of gun battles between police and rival gangs in these communities present real dangers. Police and drug traffickers co-exist in a very complicated balance of power that involves a high level of corruption and cooperation. Even so, police invasions of favelas such as Rocinha are common, and the results can be dramatic and intense large-scale gun battles. The climate of tension between police and the drug traffickers has been especially high since 2004s invasion of Rocinha by the famous CV gangster Dudu and his men. As a result, Rocinha switched from the [[Comando Vermelho|CV]] to the [[Amigos dos Amigos|ADA]], a loss the CV has never accepted. Despite Dudu’s arrest in late December of 2004, many residents still feel another invasion by the CV is imminent. This sense of uncertainty became even more real after the death of Rocinha's charismatic ADA leader [[Bem-Te-Vi]] in 2005. Currently, as of October 2006, Rocinha is run by two leaders/bosses; Nem and Joca.

==External links==

* ''[http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=-22.988870,-43.247659&spn=0.009764,0.013189&t=k&hl=en/ Satellite view of a section Rocinha at Google Maps]''
* [http://www.2bros.org/ Two Brothers/Fundação Dois Irmãos website]

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Additional Photos by Marque Berger (rio_de_janeiro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 78 W: 82 N: 410] (2091)
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