Most of us thankfully live our lives within the law and that is a very, very good thing. However, it is possible to see how community works with the world where gangs dominate. One area of the world, where gangs dominate is in the largest slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the book, Nemesis – the Hunt for Brazil’s Most Wanted Criminal by Misha Glenny published by Anansi Press, Toronto, 2015 how community exists can be seen.
Brazil is a complicated place, there are multi millionaires and the wealthy originally from Portugal, there are immigrants who came to the country; Brazil had one of the largest slave trades in the world; there are pecking orders depending on the color of your skin and the country has great potential. In Rio because of the mountains, the best neighborhoods are near the beach, but the upper and middle income groups have domestic help. Similar to around the world, domestic help does not pay well so the working poor settled on the mountains, because the land was free for the taking. Over the years with more services the buildings become developed to livable housing. The commute to work is relative easy.
In the slums, the officials do not clear it out, so an unofficial government exists as the people of the slums have the same need for law and order and services any other community needs. Someone who can provide that becomes the unofficial Mayor. Prior to the drug trade and gun violence that comes with it, the slums are essentially left alone by government. As the drug trade develops, through Brazil’s infrastructure to move the cocaine to Europe and the US, some of the product stays in Brazil, including in the slums. As the money grows and the desire to have more money, different rivals come up and fight for control. The longer the battle, the more young men between 16 and 35 die of gun violence. The battle for control and the money is a reason to fight. The book is about one of the leaders Antonio Francisco Bonfim Lopes or Nem of Rocinha.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, fortunately when you invest in a company and it fights for share of the public, the battle is done with someone buying a good or service. Lives are not lost, in the drug trade there are organizations with people – some willing to “work” with authorities, some wanting it all no matter the carnage and some in between. Management matters in the organizations of the drug trade and in organizations of legal business. Hopefully, your investments are in legal nature but you can learn from all sorts of organizations.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.