A travel narrative based in Brazil.
A steel fence with white bars welcomed us at Marcela’s home. Next to this was a small brick office fitted with a glass booth and speaker. This was a gated community.
‘There’s a favela up that hill,’ Marcela said.
I looked in the direction of Marcela’s nod but saw little, other than a dark hill scattered with the occasional dim orange light.
A grey-uniformed man walked out of the brick office. He had a black square badge with the word ‘Segurança’ embroidered in gold. His dark face gave a glistening white smile, then an electric gate opened.
‘Boa noite, gente!’ the Segurança said. He tucked his shirt into a thick black belt fitted with a baton and handgun. Then we entered.
Security like this is required in Brazil where homicide rates can be as high as 50,000 annually. The country is also considered a kidnapping hotspot. In 2006, Brazil was…
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