Favelas, or shantytowns, are where cocaine is mainly sold in Rio de Janeiro. There are some six hundred favelas in the city, and most of them are controlled by well-organized and heavily armed drug gangs. The struggle for the massive profits from this drug trade has resulted in what are increasingly violent and deadly confrontations between rival drug gangs and a corrupt and brutal police force, that have transformed parts of the city into a war-zone. Lucia tells the story of one woman who was once intimately involved with drug gang life in Rio throughout the 1990s. Through a series of conversations with the author, Lucia describes conditions of poverty, violence, and injustice that are simply unimaginable to outsiders. In doing so, she explains why women like her become involved with drugs and gangs, and why this situation is unlikely to change.
Robert Gay is Chair of the Department of Sociology at Connecticut College. He is the author of Popular Organization and Democracy in Rio De Janeiro: A Tale of Two Favelas (Temple).
ForewordAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Getting In Lucia's House2. Rogerio Drug Gangs3. Marcos Police4. Bruno Prison5. School Education6. Work Economy7. Born Again Religion8. Getting Out Last CallEpilogueNotesGlossaryBibliographyIndex