Wrecking to ‘revitalise’: São Paulo expels drug users and razes buildings, claiming public safety

Latin America’s most innovative social inclusion initiatives, Braços Abertos, shut down
The Conversation (UK)
Friday, June 16, 2017

On May 21, 500 civil and military police descended on the downtown neighbourhood where, since the late 1990s, hundreds to thousands of crack-cocaine users and drug dealers have congregated (hence its dubious appellation Cracolândia). Throwing gas grenades and with the aid of barking dogs, the police raided the area with a brutality that shocked the city. Tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets were unleashed in a "scatter" model, sending residents running. Canvas tents and shacks that provide shelter for dozens of homeless people were ripped down, razed and burned. Mayor João Doria committed to shut down the Braços Abertos (Open Arms) programme, despite contradictory scientific and human evidence.