In the first semester of 2015 agents shot and killed 347 people in the state of Rio di Janeiro according to the newspaper “Avvenire”. In 2014, 580 people were killed in total. The overwhelming majority of the victims range in age between 15 and 29 years old; 8 out of 10 were black. The diktat to wiping out crime ahead of the upcoming Olympics, as recently denounced by the ONU Committee for Infancy Rights, has intensified the loss of life.
More than just an increase in police force, the hunt for meninos de rua, who are considered delinquents who have numerous arbitrary arrests among them and abuse of summary executions. According to the most recent estimates by Unicef, one mirror is killed every hour. They are not all victims of the so-called “death squads”, but are subject to and particularly vulnerable to criminal targets.
In the same period, the police who were killed numbered more than one a day. The killings are played out in the theater called le favelas, the strong hold of illegal drug trade and the drug dealers who have the most fragile lives of the population in their hands. The containment measurements installed by the federal government did not have structural character and together with the social stresses caused by a mix of big events (first the football world cup followed by the Olympics), and an economic recession have produced an escalation in violence.
Since 1986 the association “Casa do Menor” run by Father Renato Chiera has saved thousands of children and adolescents from the streets and a life of crime and started just in Rio. It offered hospitality to meninos de rua, also offering them health services, and helped young people find work through professional courses and offered an education to those who never had an opportunity to sit at a desk.
The Angelo Affinita Foundation has supported “Casa do Menor” since 2003. As of today, Father Renato’s Association has received more than 400 thousand euro, and even still, it’s not enough: several important activities have been canceled for lack of funding. The state of growing difficulty in which the Colossal state finds itself implores the request for additional indispensible resources.
Brazil must smile again. And it has to start with its youngest “children”. Just a single donation from you can help restore a smile to many children and young people.