Last October I was assigned by the Washington Post for a story on the ethanol facilities, including the sugarcane farms that blanket miles and miles of bright red soil in the state of Goias, Brazil. Long gone are the back breaking manual labor, these days the major ethanol corporations use machines to cut sugarcane, operated by some of the same men who once cut the stalks by hand.
It was exciting to receive a request from ESPN Magazine for two images in their latest issue and story about the protests in Brazil last June. Here's the backstory to this lede image:
A man reported to be a plainclothes police officer throws his gun into a bonfire in the street near the state assembly building, during a protest, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, June 17, 2013. He said, "To serve a State like this? I am ashamed. I am ashamed of everything we go through, everyday."
Very honored that this story on the forced eviction of one favela in Rio de Janeiro was published on the new National Geographic blog, called, Proof. (please click on Proof to see story)
Residents of Largo do Tanque were forced from their homes in Rio de Janeiro’s West Zone, to make room for the Transcarioca Highway, that will eventually be built to accommodate the 2016 Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.
In less than 2 weeks, 54 houses were demolished. The City advisor responsible for payment compensation, told residents not to speak with one another or seek legal advice otherwise he would reduce settlement offers. Many residents agreed to compensations, around R$7000 (US$3500), not nearly enough to afford to buy a plot of land.
According to the Brazilian Constitution, residents have legal rights to their homes, while compensation should allow them to attain an equal situation elsewhere.
The West Zone, located west of downtown and beach neighborhoods is often overlooked and is widely known to be run by militia groups, who are former and current police and firefighter personnel that run extortion rings to monopolies.
This photo essay documents one day in the life of an eviction to show how fleeting a home can be.