[Really-OT] Rio is at a state of war

Andre Garzia andre at andregarzia.com
Tue Nov 30 08:45:55 EST 2010


Thanks for all the kind words and offers of prayers and housing. It is
wonderful to know that I have such good friends. The "Rio Against Crime"
operation is a success. Both shantytown complexes were taken back by our
goverment forces. Military presence will stay there for more seven months
while the peace police unit is built and installed. It's been many days
without attacks, shoots or victims. We're now on the phase they call "fine
combing" where houses are searched and arrests made.

There is a clear probability that many criminals fled to my own city as it
usually happens when Rio does such operations. They fled to my city which is
the other side of the bay, it is a different city even though you can reach
Rio in 10 minutes by ferry boat. So soon there might be investigations and
arrests made here. In general the populace is very happy with the outcome
and this one is going into history as a success.

I never liked our army. Here military service is mandatory and when you are
18, you need to present yourself into a drafting barrack. When I turned 18 I
went to the Third Infantary Battation (3o BI), the acronym B.I. is for
Infantary Battalion but in portuguese they say it also stand for "Buraco do
Inferno" which means third hell hole and it feels like that. They made me do
flip flops naked with other 40 naked-as-well guys, it is not a very good
experience. I was enrolled at a university, so, I was prime material because
they decided they didn't want the common guy anymore but wanted to make the
army smarter by drafting university  students. If you are a grad student,
you will not serve as a low troop, you will have a chance to go to CPOR
which stands for Reserve Officer Preparatory College and will enter the army
as a third grade lieutenant. We were 40 students, they said we were all
drafted but there were only 20 spots for CPOR so we had to work it out with
exams and physical tests to decided who were the best, the rest would be
foot soldiers. It was nightmarish. When I passed all tests and they were
measuring me for my uniform, I took the last medical exam which was the
dentist. The dialog was like this:

Dentist: "son, do you want to serve?"
me: "No, sir, no!"
Dentist: "Well, it happens that you have a scoliosis..." (a dentist
diagnosed me with scoliosis)
me: "My back is perfect sir!"
Dentist: "I said it is not so you can't serve the army!"
me: "Thank you sir!"

And I left...

I never liked our police, specially the military police. I've been
blackmailed by them. Beaten by them in more than one occasion. Once I was
camping at a hippie spot popular for liberal recreational drug use. I never
ever did any drug besides php and c++. Dialog with military police low
officer was like this:

bastard cop: "Hey, show me the drugs now!"
me: "No drugs in here, can you please low your revolver"
bastard cop: "I said where are the drugs!"
me: "I don't do drugs. I have no weapon and am sitting on the floor. You
will low that damn weapon now."
bastard cop: "I will search your tent." (but he lowered the damn thing)
me: "Ok!" (he starts unassembling my maglite)
me: "You will put it back together?"
me: "You know, you picked the single person in this camping ground who
doesn't do drugs..."
bastard cop: "Think yourself funny kid?"
me: "Oh yes!"
(then he slapped me in the face, which made me angry)
bastard cop: "Still funny?"
me: "Even better! Now, will you put my torchlight back together?" (and I was
beaten for a while)
me: "Heck, you can't even assemble the thing back!"

He went away... there's the time where the federal customs police
asked/demanded a bribe to release my Apple eMate from customs because a
laptop could never cost 20 GBP.

But after this recent operations and the way things were conducted, I am
warming towards those guys. Even though I never liked the army or the
police, I always respected and admired BOPE which is the special ops
battalion. No corruption in there, as they say: "Force and Honor"

Now, to say thanks to everyone, a view from my window. I am on the 18 floor,
two blocks from the guanabara bay.


No matter the violence, this still "Rio, the wonderful city" (and Niterói,
the smiling city)


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