Rescue of Rio slums shaky on failed promise of basic services

Christmas in August

Soccer square in bad condition is seen at the Cantagalo slum in Rio de JaneiroBy Paulo Prada RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – In the three years since hundreds of police stormed the hills that her family calls home, Caroline Oliveira has been waiting for things to get better. True, the drug gangs that once controlled her Rio de Janeiro neighborhood are less dominant than they once were. As for the promise of nearby schools and health services, she will believe it when she sees it. “Not much has changed,” says the 20-year-old mother of two, who has spent recent weeks seeking donations with neighbors to set up a community day-care center in their small corner of the Complexo do Alemão, a vast series of bare-brick shacks, open sewers and garbage heaps just north of central Rio.

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