Houses are demolished in the Pinheirinhos favela, São Paulo state, with residents’ possessions inside, as part of the forcible eviction and flattening of the area.
In this news item on the TV news Jornal da Record, the reporter Ricardo Vilches shows how houses complete with furniture and in one case, a dog (not clear if the dog would be inside upon demolition), are simply flattened by heavy machinery. Many residents were unable to organise the moving of their fridges, sofas, etc. – and lost them to the diggers, as well as being made homeless with no warning, since the operation began on Sunday morning. Press access to the area has been restricted, but this report shows the scale, and the human scale, of the disaster.
The young woman interviewed in the report, Luciana Almeida, is a housemaid who went back to see if she could salvage anything – she only got a pair of her sister’s shoes. The other resident interviewed, a retired man, was on his way to see if he could find anything in the rubble of his family’s home. The official interviewed, from the justice department, says that people were given the chance to take their things and that anything they’d left behind would be because they didn’t want it. News reports, on the other hand, tell of working fridges and cookers, as well as furniture, that people simple couldn’t get out in time. In this news story, a digger is seen flattening a fridge.
A number of NGOs have made a complaint to the UN regarding the operation and police brutality during it. Read this in the Guardian by Rodrigo Nunes, and see these images from the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo of the residents’ resistance, in home-made riot gear.