This is a classic example of what happens when the government can be questioned by the thugs who control the streets:
Military police raided favelas in Brazil‘s second largest city yesterday, exchanging gunfire with suspected drugs gangs during a fifth day of violence.
Heavily armed officers and armoured cars targeted the hillside shantytowns on the city’s outskirts, including the Vila Cruzeiro slum in the north, considered the stronghold of a gang thought to be behind a number of attacks.
At least 10 armoured marine vehicles, never before used in battles in the city’s favelas, transported soldiers into Vila Cruzeiro, where barriers were erected by gangs and television pictures showed smoke rising from the shell of a bus.
Colonel Alvaro Rodrigues, head of the military police operation, said: “Our goal today is to take back ground from the drug traffickers. We’re taking it back and rescuing society from its position as a hostage to the drug trade.”
The violence began on Sunday as police stations and vehicles were attacked by gang members, reports said. Authorities blamed the assaults on orders from imprisoned gang members angry at police efforts to take control of their turf in more than a dozen favelas.
At least 30 people have been killed in this week’s violence, according to the military police. Among those was a 14-year-old girl hit on Wednesday by a stray bullet. She died in hospital.
The government needs to really take care of their people — this means defeating gangs in a proactive sense.
Gangs must be viewed as the symptom of a larger problem — the disenfranchisement of the people and lack of an ability for them to improve their lives. Gangs do not represent the entirety of the underclass but rather they are a manifestation of hopelessness.
As people have no means of advancing themselves from their poverty they turn to other means to acquire wealth, glory and all the things that young men starve for. Nations like Korea, although poverty still exists, offers the chance of bettering one’s life — it seems that the poor of Brazil feel that they have no such recourse.
Indeed, one would guess that they do not as they are apparently confident enough to even challenge the government in these sorts of street fights.
When America was formerly faced with similar problems during the Great Depression we found the answer in government work programs that enabled youth to labor for profit; it allowed us to take people and teach them skills and give them an amount of pay to get them back on their feet through outright, socialistic policies that gave birth to a larger national and state park system and beautified the region.
Perhaps Brazil could find an answer in offering similar work programs to the youth in the flavellas.
One sub-issue here can be the environment — Brazil does need to increase industrialization of its country and have more work programs that bring people to the rural areas to make futures for themselves, and unfortunately, this probably involves cutting down portions of the rain forest.
What needs to be done here is have these efforts be state lead, so there is an order within the chaos, and so that there is an exact plan to insure that the rain forest is not completely destroyed. Previously just allowing private business and thugs to do what they wanted to the land obviously did not work.
We are in a situation where even I, as an American, think that the answer will generally be found in socialistic policies that are able to direct the development of the economy to defeat the gangs at home.
Conservatism is not always about small government — sometimes it is about the betterment and strengthening of the nation, and right here the answer would be found in some larger government effort to fix the youth of the country and establish a superior value system.
In this case, we need a proactive and indeed a socialistic approach to fixing a problem that the private sector appears to not have the ability to do.