Book of kids' drawings reflect regular violence shaping their lives in a Rio de Janeiro favela

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By MAURICIO SAVARESE and DIARLEI RODRIGUES

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Dozens of kids and teenagers from Rio de Janeiro’s Mare vicinity gathered for nan motorboat of a book successful which they show, pinch their ain words and pictures, really unit successful their poor, bayside organization weighs connected their young lives.

The book, titled “I Was Supposed to beryllium astatine School,” features drawings and testimonies collected from youngsters aged betwixt 5 and 17.

All excessively often, erstwhile Rio state’s subject police behaviour operations and look disconnected pinch section supplier traffickers, people is canceled and they return shelter down washing machines, nether their beds aliases acold from windows that a stray slug mightiness shatter. Mare is 1 of Rio’s astir populous favelas, pinch astir 130,000 residents.

“Some policemen invade our houses. They move things upside down, they attack, they moreover bargain our food,” according to 1 child’s relationship successful nan book, which launched Monday.

 a book that intends to show authorities really they spot constabulary unit successful their Maré organization from a young age. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

Myrella Victoria Viana dos Santos, 10, shows nan book titled “I was expected to beryllium astatine school” that includes her experiences of surviving successful nan Mare favela of Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

“Sometimes constabulary occurrence astatine children, too,” different relationship says, going connected to reference 14-year-old Marcus Vinícius da Silva, whose decease successful 2018 sparked outrage and protests. Residents opportunity constabulary changeable him successful nan backmost arsenic he near location for class, but nan lawsuit remains unsolved and sealed by Rio police.

The book’s phrases came straight from nan youngsters and collected successful business pinch nonprofit Redes da Mare, according to creator Isabel Malzoni. The book doesn’t database nan names of nan children involved.

“We and nan nonprofit successful Mare agreed pinch nan families that nan anonymity of nan children was captious for nan task truthful nan children and their parents felt safe astir it. It was a information for nan task to exist,” she said later.

The project’s trigger was a surge of constabulary raids successful 2019, nan twelvemonth Jair Bolsonaro became Brazil’s president and state Wilson Witzel became Rio’s governor, aft some campaigned pinch pledges to springiness constabulary carte-blanche to usage lethal unit against criminals. During that year, Mare saw 41 constabulary operations resulting successful 42 deaths and 35 days without schoolhouse for section children, according to Redes da Mare and Rio de Janeiro authorities nationalist defender’s office.

FILE - Police from nan Dog Action Battalion patrol nan Complexo da Mare favela during an cognition targeting supplier gangs successful Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sept. 26, 2022. When Rio state's subject constabulary behaviour operations and look disconnected pinch section supplier traffickers, people is canceled and kids return shelter astatine home. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado, File)

FILE - Police from nan Dog Action Battalion patrol nan Complexo da Mare favela during an cognition targeting supplier gangs successful Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sept. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado, File)

Those figures edged down successful 2023, nan first twelvemonth successful agency for existent President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Gov. Cláudio Castro: 27 constabulary operations, 39 deaths and 15 days without school.

Rio authorities constabulary didn’t respond to a petition from The Associated Press astir nan book. The unit has many times said successful nan past that immoderate operations successful Mare and different favelas are aimed astatine stopping criminal activity. But nan database of deaths from stray bullets continues to grow.

The book besides contains immoderate dream for amended days.

“I besides deliberation of EVERYTHING that could beryllium different,” 1 kid is quoted arsenic saying, adjacent to a drafting of a calm time astatine Mare, pinch an pome tree, clouds and a rainbow. “Tomorrow, if it is simply a time of peace, I americium going to school.”

 a book that intends to show authorities really they spot constabulary unit successful their Maré organization from a young age. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

A younker runs to nan motorboat of nan book titled “I was expected to beryllium astatine school” successful nan Mare favela of Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

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Savarese reported from Sao Paulo.