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Favelas: Brazil’s New Consumerism Booms from the Bottom

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RIO DE JANEIRO – Few outsiders come to this favela (slum) in Rio de Janeiro’s West Zone, populated largely with recent migrants from Brazil’s traditionally depressed northeast region and controlled for years by anti-drug trafficker paramilitaries that made the favela the thinly-veiled subject of the recent blockbuster “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within.” Tucked behind a lagoon popular for boating and the wealthy condos of the Barra region, Rio das Pedras had been accustomed to residents making their few big-ticket purchases in the malls of the Barra beachside neighborhood. But a flurry of new high-end commerce here is showing that Brazil’s […]
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