Residents denounced to the media outlet G1 the formation of a “cracolândia” on Rua Henrique de Novais, Botafogo, in Rio’s South Zone. According to residents, the presence of drug users at this point is constant and has been happening for months. Up to 20 users have been seen at the site together using the drug that is highly addictive and cheap.

Other Areas

Dwellers also reported that crack users are using other parts of the neighborhood to buy and consume drugs. The preferred spots are deserted areas, such as Rua Real Grandeza, on the corner of Rua Visconde Silva and Rua Henrique de Novaes.

Same Issue in 2022

In July 2022, residents of Botafogo had already denounced the formation of another “cracolândia. The drug users would be using a space near the City Palace building, one of the headquarters of the city hall and of a former battalion of the Military Police of Rio. Residents claimed that dozens of drug users and dealers were gathering there. Furthermore, many would be committing robberies and thefts to pay for the drugs.

Not Only Botafogo

In 2022, news outlets reported othercracolândias” throughout the city. They were the result of a process of expansion around communities where the substance is sold by traffickers. By May 2022, these environments were seen in at least 14 areas of the city.

Near Morro da Providência, in the central area of the capital, there were users smoking crack at points such as Praça dos Estivadores, almost opposite the Jardim Suspenso do Valongo, near the entrance to João Ricardo Tunnel, close to the corner with Rua do Livramento, and close to the Américo Fontenelle Bus Terminal.

In Mangueira, dozens of users occupied the access to the viaduct over the train line on Rua Visconde de Niterói. There were also groups next to the subway wall, near the Maracanã stadium, in the access to Favela do Metrô and in the vicinity of Uerj. On the other side of the train line, drug users were seen on Visconde de Niterói, close to the SuperVia Maracanã station.

On the border between Maria da Graça and Del Castilho, for years users occupied a sports court under the Emílio Baumgart Viaduct, in access to Bandeira Dois. On the corner of Rua Genésio de Barros other illegal activities are normally carried out, like prostitution. In Rua Luísa Valê, the sidewalks were occupied by shacks where people consume drugs.

Around the communities of Complexo da Maré, the most famous “Cracolândia” is found. Drug addicts remain on Avenida Brasil, near Parque União. Others occupy the BRT lane near Estação Maré. Rua Teixeira Ribeiro, one of the main streets in the complex, is also occupied.

In Jacarezinho, users gather at points close to Avenida Dom Hélder Câmara.

In the South Zone, users were reported in the vicinity of Pavão-Pavãozinho, in Copacabana. Rua Sá Ferreira and Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana were the main spots.

Increase in Thefts

During the first quarter of 2022, the increase in the number of thefts recorded was above the city average in 6 areas of police departments where these 14 “cracolândias” were reported. The city average was 45.32%, however, in the Port Zone, around Providência favela, the number of thefts grew more than four times that, 186.9%, from 320 to 918. The other five police departments were: 39th – Pavuna and Fazenda Botafogo (+90.8%); Pilares (+82.3%); Mangueira (+70.4%); Copacabana (+53.6%); Lins (+47.8%).

Bladed Weapons

Recently, on Wednesday (03/05), the Public Order Secretariat (SEOP) released data about operations of urban planning actions and assistance to homeless people and drug users in the South Zone of Rio, carried out from the beginning of January until now. In these actions, City Hall agents seized 2,292 items, among which 328 were knives, 337 sharp objects, including handmade swords. The agents also apprehended batons, irons, clubs, screwdrivers, as well as 635 materials for drug use and 988 miscellaneous objects. Four fake firearms were found too.

Source: G1; O Globo [1], [2].

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