BRASIL – CHILE with Karen
Group stage is over and the World Cup ambiance is growing here in Rio. The 8th finals was Brasil – Chile and I have watched it with Karen in Duque de Caxias, Baixada Fluminense. Baixada Fluminense is North of Rio de Janeiro and part of the State of Rio de Janeiro, but not of the city. Karen lives here in a house that is next to the house of her parents and brother. She works for the Military Police in Rio, mostly for the UPP (Pacifying Police) in Chatuba, but sometimes in other areas of Rio too. The day before the match I visited Karen at her work and she showed me around the community. Chatuba is pacified for two years now and getting more and more calm every day. The community, like a lot of the favelas, is located against a hill. On the highest part the UPP has a post located in the house that used to be of the “dono do morro” (literally, owner of the hill, meaning boss of the drug traffic). He is in prison since the pacification of the favela and ever since the UPP has been using it. From there you have great view over the community. Karen has been working in Chatuba since the beginning of the UPP. Although her mum is worried about the danger of the job, she likes her work very much and is getting along very well with the inhabitants of the community. But there still is resistance against the UPP, sometimes children shout at her that they want the military police dead and the prefer the drug gangs having control over the community. The chance that that happens is very limited.
The day of the match Karen was off duty and went to a friend’s house where a big group of friends that are considered family for her come together. The match always asks for a good preparation and everybody brought along something. With a house full of people, beer and a table full of World Cup food, the match could get started. A long match, ending up in penalties. For the people watching the TV it can be very bad for their hearts. I stayed on the other side of the TV, watching this group of people. Very happy that Brasil had won it was time for more beer, some dancing and more food.
Karen, muito obrigada querida! Foram dois dias bem animada!