Slums under the epidemic

Darkness and light alternate. But in South America, light seems to have always been a “luxury.”

In the current new crown pneumonia epidemic, it is not difficult to reach a consensus by wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and going out less frequently. But in Brazil, the President, the Minister of Health, and the gangs “strangled” together from their respective perspectives, and staged a “anti-epidemic” spectacle in which the gangs prevented the people from going out. However, the gangs are gangs, and they only It’s just to protect their own interests.

The government as a “negative teaching material”
Compared with hundreds of thousands of confirmed cases in Europe and America, the number of confirmed cases in Brazil is not exaggerated. However, behind the seemingly stable numbers, there is actually a huge crisis.

On March 20, local time, the Brazilian Senate approved the government’s decree on entering the “public disaster state”, and the country immediately entered the public disaster state.

To prevent the spread of the epidemic, many Brazilian states have adopted strict epidemic prevention measures. In the severely affected state of São Paulo, 645 cities and towns have been quarantined since March 24. Schools have been closed, commercial activities have been suspended, and only basic social services related to health and safety are retained. The state government also stated that it may Continue to extend the isolation period according to actual needs.

However, the “blockade” measures adopted by the states have been severely criticized by President Bolsonaro. On March 24, Bolsonaro claimed that the new crown pneumonia was just a “small flu” in a televised speech, urging people to resume work and normal life as soon as possible. On March 29, Bolsonaro appeared in a crowded market in Celadea, a suburb of Brasilia, the capital, shaking hands and taking photos with supporters and businesses that are still in business, encouraging vendors to continue work, and publicly criticizing local officials for ordering the suspension Commercial activities.

These views and behaviors caused him to disagree with Mandetta, the Brazilian Minister of Health. Mandetta has urged the Brazilian people to ensure maximum “social distancing” to ease the pressure on the medical system, and said that 200 million pieces of personal protective equipment will be shipped from China to Brazil in April.

Regarding Mandetta’s caution, Bolsonaro said, “You can’t implement more quarantine measures than you do now.” He added that the question most people ask him is when they can return to work. He also used an analogy to say, “You can’t ask the car factory to shut down because of a traffic accident that will kill people.”

Bolsonaro and Mandetta have always had differences in response to the epidemic. According to the British “Guardian”, Bolsonaro had warned the health minister that if the latter continued to call for people to stay at home, he would publicly condemn him and even threaten to dismiss him.

And things have developed to this day. According to the latest news from Brazil’s “Globe”, Bolsonaro is already considering firing the Minister of Health Mandetta, who has publicly broken with him, but with the support of senior government officials and military officials, Mandela The tower was able to stay.

The report pointed out that a public opinion survey showed that in dealing with the new crown pneumonia virus crisis, the support rate of Brazilians for Mandetta soared to 76%, while Bolsonaro’s support rate has dropped to 5%.

Gangs as “positive teaching materials”
The fight against the new crown pneumonia epidemic, which acted earlier than the Brazilian official, turned out to be a gang.

On March 24, while Bolsonaro was still calling for “resumption of work and production”, the “famous” Brazilian gang “Red Command” issued a “curfew” through social networking sites.

The content of the curfew is “simple and rude”: “All residents of Stone River, Mzema, and Tijuquinia (the core area of ​​Rio’s slums)! The curfew will be implemented from 20 o’clock today. After this time, who is on the street? When he is seen on the Internet, he will have to learn how to respect his peers… If the government is unable to do anything, it will be resolved by our gang.”

At the same time, another message sent to residents of different slums read: “We are taking risks on the street so that you can sleep peacefully; we are leaving our family to protect your family, so please respect our orders.”

After the gang ordered it, the effect was very significant. The slums that had been crowded 24 hours a day, the streets and lanes were empty after nightfall. In this way, the “war epidemic” in the slums led by the gang began.

Not only that, they also patrolled the streets while driving their cars, while using big speakers to broadcast the epidemic prevention regulations and control measures read out by their boss himself-“If you don’t wash your hands, just chop your hands.”

In Brazil’s vast slum communities, tin sheds are next to the tin sheds, and the whole family, men, women and children are crowded in small spaces.

Lack of water. Lack of soap, lack of doctors and medicines, poor living environment, dirty toilets, and disordered sewage treatment system… Just as an official from the Rio slum community said: “Tap water is stopped at every turn, and mineral water cannot be drunk. What shall we wash our hands with?”

Even so, most of the local residents also support the gang’s “overcoming on behalf of”. Some Brazilian experts said that with the increase in the infection rate and the spread of panic, Brazil’s slums have become a time bomb.

“This provides an opportunity for the gangs, who describe themselves as the’true provider and last line of defense’ of law and order.”

Brazilian slums

Gangs are Gangs
After the news of “Brazilian Gangs Governing the Country” was screened, netizens at home and abroad applauded the gangs. Gangs have been “washed white” and become an alternative to the government’s anti-epidemic agency, and have even been used as positive energy to publicize. Some people say that the next election will be a gangster.

However, how can Brazilian gangs be “full of justice” and “more reliable than the government” as many netizens say?

There is a huge gap between the rich and the poor in Brazil, and Rio de Janeiro is also the epitome of the unequal rich and poor society in Brazil. In Rio alone, there are more than 1,000 slums. Slums are usually built on the hillside, row upon row and disorderly, and thousands of homeless poor people live in these tin huts. The government’s power was not up to the point, and gangs and drug dealers took over the mountains and became the actual rulers.

There are many gangs here, and their survival and management methods are similar: they use slums as their bases to obtain human and material support, and continue to grow their own power. Then they can use violence to control the slums, impose taxes on residents, and violate the rules. Those who punish them with various lynchings, or seek huge profits, monopolize the local illegal trade such as drug trafficking under the protection of force.

Wherever gangs go, murders, sex crimes, and drug abuse are commonplace. Therefore, the survival of the poor is contemptuous to them, and the lives of the people are in desperation.

But this time, in the face of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the Brazilian gang ordered the “closed city”. The main reason is that their drug production, drug trafficking and sales teams are all from slums. If the epidemic broke out here, their interests would be seriously damaged.

At the end of February, Brazil confirmed the first case of new coronary pneumonia. Because the characteristics of the initial cases were that the infected people were from the upper class, they were once jokingly called “the disease that the rich will get.” However, the epidemic spread quickly across the country and spread to other classes of society.

On April 5, local time, the authorities of Rio de Janeiro confirmed the first batch of four confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia in Rosignia, Brazil’s largest slum.

People’s worries have become facts.

The sanitary conditions in the slums are extremely poor. The houses are simple and closed, and some even have no windows and poor ventilation. After the emergence of a new coronary pneumonia patient, the family is crowded into a room, and isolation will also become a problem.

In addition, residents of slums are also faced with the survival choice of “either starving to death or contracting new coronary pneumonia”.

Many residents of the slums do not have a fixed job, and usually set up stalls or work as mobile vendors on the beach or tourist attractions. If Rio were to implement a full lockdown, they would have no income and no savings every day, and their family would starve to death.

Therefore, even if the new crown pneumonia is epidemic, even if gangs block neighborhoods, many people in slums have to risk their lives to go out to work every day.

“Our biggest difficulty is keeping people at home,” said a person in charge of a slum community in Rio de Janeiro. “Most of them don’t have stable jobs. They worry about what tomorrow will be like without money or food.”

Some people in Rio said pessimistically: “The irony is that the rich brought the new crown pneumonia virus to Brazil, but it will be a big outbreak among the poor.”

The government is out of control, and the gangs are false justice. To die first, or starve to death, or be scared to death. The disadvantaged groups in Brazil’s slums face the most stark survival problem.