The Gangs of Rio
In Brazil, private-security forces impose an uneasy law on the slums.
Gardênia Azul, a flatland slum in the scruffy west end of Rio de
Janeiro, isn't much to look at. But don't tell that to Juliana. She
moved there from Cidade de Deus (City of God), the bullet-riddled
shantytown featured in the eponymous drugs-and-thugs film of 2002 that
rattled polite Brazilians and earned Latin America's fairest address
lasting notoriety. At least in Gardênia there were no teenagers with
Kalashnikovs or vendors hawking cocaine in the street. To Juliana, a
manicurist with a four-year-old son, those things matter. "We can walk
the streets any time of day or night," she says. "I feel safe."
Gardênia Azul safety is relative, and comes at a price. It's the six
percent markup that residents pay on a bottled gas for cooking or the
steep rents the slumlords charge. Or the fact that Juliana prefers not
to use her real name when talking to a reporter. The reason for her
reticence is "the militia", a self-designated neighborhood police force
that runs the favela with an iron heel and a hand in everyone's pocket,
taking a cut of all local business and services. No one is fond of the
militia, which is often the corrupt twin of legitimate law enforcement
with rogue cops acting as judge, jury and occasionally executioner.
(Juliana won't soon forget her neighbor's 16-year-old, who was shot
dead for smoking marijuana, his body dumped in the main square.) But to
millions of people trying to get by in some of the meanest streets in
the hemisphere, life involves hedging your bets by grabbing at whatever
safety net you can. Cariocas, as city natives are called, light one
candle to Cristo Redentor, the Art Deco Christ watching over Rio from
the mountains, and another to the caveirão, the armored car
police use to raid the outlaw favelas. And since neither authority has
been up to the task, now the Cariocas are turning to the market.
the market is booming. Blackwater gets all the press for its
controversial work providing private security in Iraq, but more and
more cities around the world have surrendered crime fighting and
prevention into private hands. Analysts estimate that policing is a
$100 billion to $200 billion global business and a growth industry in
the developing world. In Russia, private cops outnumber regular ones by
10 to 1. So ubiquitous are they in South Africa, militias are even
tasked with guarding regular police stations. Private security
generates an estimated million jobs a year in India. Even Uganda has
20,000 private police on the streets, as many as Iraq had in 2006, at
the height of the war.
trend is a complex demographic upheaval of rising prosperity in the
emerging nations, a widening gap between rich and poor, burgeoning
slums, and the utter incapacity of official enforcers to keep pace with
outlaws. In the world's more orderly cities, where there are shopping
malls to keep safe, upstanding companies like Pinkerton or the U.K.
based G4S deploy trained and uniformed guards and work closely with
official law enforcers. The reality is far different in the poorest
countries, where the superrich are tailed by heavies in black suits and
earpieces while the poor are left to fend for themselves. The contrast
is especially stark in Rio, where some 800 shantytowns crowd the
glistening skyline or fester around shuttered factories. For decades,
drug traffickers held a monopoly in these asphalt no-man's lands. Now
the militias have staked their claim.
militias are not just tolerated but exploited by crooked officials, who
parlay their official status into a lucrative franchise. Many militias
are composed of off duty cops, cashiered prison guards, firefighters,
and even condemned criminals who take orders from senior police and
elected officials. A recent probe by Rio lawmakers named eight elected
officials and 67 police as ringleaders in 171 favelas. Don't bother
asking for badge numbers. "You've heard of the gangs of New York. Now
we have the gangs of Rio," says Claudio Ferraz, who heads Rio's
organized-crime fighting united, DRACO.
official godfathers are what makes militias far more treacherous than
drug traffickers, says José Mariano Beltrame, Rio's secretary of public
safety. "We are seeing the criminalization of politics
and the politicization of crime," he says. And yet Beltrame says before
he took office in 2007 no one even bothered to investigate the
militias. Why the blind spot? "Interests," he shakes his head,
signaling he can say no more. A probe by the Rio daily O Dia found that
militia bosses have parlayed their lock on the favelas—where they run
public transportation, skim off utility payments, control home sales
and rentals, and peddle pirate cable-TV subscriptions—into personal
fortunes, including yachts, mansions, and country estates.
good news is the official indulgence may be ending. A former chief of
police is now behind bars, for allegedly commanding militias. And after
raiding militia strongholds and arresting more than 60 alleged
ringleaders in Campo Grande, a major suburb west of Rio, the murder
rate there plunged, a flicker of hope for the rest of the city.
Still, busting rogue cops is only the beginning. Last month, a
notorious militiaman known to all as Batman and serving time for
attempted murder, walked out of a maximum-security prison in broad
daylight. "Criminals move in where the state is weak or absent," says
state lawmaker Marcelo Freixo. He should know. The target of anonymous
threats ever since he led the legislative probe into Rio's militias,
Freixo never goes anywhere without the cloud of body guards he refers
to as "my friends." In Rio, everyone hedges their bets.
If you were in charge of Rio how would you make it a safer, better place to live?
Do you ever think about how many tissues you use during the winter
months? Greenpeace, the environmental group, hopes you'll start. They
recently launched a campaign called "Shop Smart, Save Forests."
The campaign asks people to give up their soft tissue paper and start using recycled tissue paper instead. "Recycled paper does the trick," says a Greenpeace representative. "The very soft tissue paper sold by the paper industry is overkill."
Meanwhile, the paper industry continues to encourage consumers to
buy the luxury tissues and toilet paper. Their advertising campaigns highlight
the softness of their products. An executive at the Kimberly-Clark
company says many consumers want very soft tissue paper and recycled
paper just can't deliver. For these consumers, the company offers the premium "Kleenex" brand, made of non-recycled paper. For its other, less expensive, brands, the company does use recycled paper.
Not good enough, insists Greenpeace. They explain that
Kimberly-Clark and its competitors are using wood from Canada's
forests, destroying old forests. "How many trees have to be destroyed
so people can blow their noses?" asks a Greenpeace representative.
Activists from Greenpeace have spread the word by talking to people on the streets of some of America's major cities, including San Francisco, New York, and Washington. In blind tests, they ask consumers to compare the premium tissue paper with the recycled tissue and see if they can tell the difference. The result: most consumers can tell the difference, but they say the difference is small. And most say they'd be willing to switch to the recycled paper to help save the environment.
As part of their campaign, Greenpeace has also asked consumers to
write to Kimberly-Clark and request that they start using recycled
paper for their entire product line. Kimberly-Clark reports receiving tens of thousands of emails and letters. However, they have not given up on the non-recycled paper yet. Has this affected the bottom line? No, say executives from the company. Profits are up.Summarize the above reading in one paragraph
Why do you want to continue to study English? Do you want to speak, understand, read and write better for work or yourself? Would you like to take the TOEFL or go to college? Explain below why you are planning to study higher level English.
________________ grammar book is on the table?
The correct answer is "whose". This is because "whose" is used to indicate possession or ownership. In this sentence, the word "whose" is used to ask about the possessor of the grammar book. The other options ("who", "whom", and "which") do not convey the same meaning of possession.
Mrs. Silva, _________ lived in London, is my teacher.
The correct answer is "who" because it is used to refer to a person and is the subject of the relative clause "who lived in London". In this sentence, "who" is used to provide additional information about Mrs. Silva, stating that she is the one who lived in London.
___________ did you ask for help with your homework?
The question is asking for the correct pronoun to use in the given sentence. In this case, "whom" is the correct choice. "Whom" is used as an object pronoun, and it is used to refer to the person who receives the action of the verb. In the sentence, "did you ask for help with your homework?" the pronoun is being used as the object of the verb "ask." Therefore, "whom" is the appropriate pronoun to use in this context.
Re-write the sentence and add the phrase in parenthesis:
The student (from Brazil) is the best in our class.
The student who is from Brazil is the best in our class.
The given sentence is re-written by adding the phrase "who is from Brazil" in parenthesis. This clarifies that the student being referred to is from Brazil and is also the best in their class.
Re-write the sentence and add the phrase in parenthesis:
Mrs. Opal (drives a green jeep) is my teacher
Mrs. Opal, who drives a green jeep is my teacher.
The correct answer is a rephrased version of the given sentence that includes the additional information about Mrs. Opal driving a green jeep. By using the phrase "who drives a green jeep," the sentence provides a descriptive detail about Mrs. Opal while maintaining the overall meaning of the original sentence.
Combine the two sentences to make one.The man is dating my sister. He is from Holland
The man whom is dating my sister is from Holland
The correct answer combines the two sentences by using a relative pronoun "whom" to refer to the man who is dating my sister. This pronoun connects the two ideas and creates a single sentence. Additionally, the sentence clarifies that the man is from Holland.
Tomorrow we are meeting a man. He's company went bankrupt.
Tomorrow we are meeting with the man whose company went bankrupt.
The correct answer is "Tomorrow we are meeting with the man whose company went bankrupt." This answer is correct because it uses the appropriate relative pronoun "whose" to show the possessive relationship between the man and his bankrupt company. It also includes the preposition "with" to indicate that the meeting will be in the presence of the man.
Select the incorrect sentence.
C. How long has Wizard in Philadelphia?
The sentence "How long has Wizard in Philadelphia?" is grammatically incorrect. The correct sentence should be "How long has Wizard been in Philadelphia?" as it follows the correct structure of the present perfect tense.
Jackie ________ continuously since we arrived at the concert, and she is about to drive us all crazy.
D. Has been talking
The correct answer is "has been talking." This is because the sentence indicates that Jackie has been talking continuously since they arrived at the concert, which suggests an ongoing action in the present. The present perfect continuous tense is used to describe an action that started in the past, is still happening in the present, and may continue into the future. Therefore, "has been talking" is the appropriate verb form to convey this continuous action.
Nowadays, owning a computer isn't that expensive, but going to college __________ a fortune.
The sentence is in present tense, so the correct answer is "costs" which agrees with the subject "going to college". The verb "costs" is used to indicate that going to college is currently expensive.
John is an actor. He _____________ to in front of people.
B. Is used to performing
The correct answer is "is used to performing" because the verb "used to" is followed by the gerund form of the verb "performing" to indicate a habitual or accustomed action. In this case, it means that John is accustomed to performing in front of people as an actor.
Mrs. Oliveira ______________ absent-minded for the past few days.
C. Has been
The correct answer is "has been" because it indicates a continuous action or state that started in the past and is still ongoing. The phrase "for the past few days" suggests that Mrs. Oliveira has been absent-minded during this time period.
It was _____________ wanted to buy a new house.
A. My husband who
The correct answer is "my husband who". This is because the sentence is indicating that it was specifically the speaker's husband who wanted to buy a new house. The phrase "my husband who" correctly identifies the subject of the sentence and clarifies who wanted to make the purchase.
"It hasn't been an hour since the soccer game started" could also be written.
A. The soccer game started an hour ago.
D. The soccer game started less than an hour ago.
The correct answer is "The soccer game started less than an hour ago." This is because the statement "It hasn't been an hour since the soccer game started" implies that the soccer game started less than an hour ago.