TG drives the Kombi in Brazil
It's one of TG magazine's greatest ever adventures: a white-knuckle ride around the favelas in a new, 50s-style Kombi van
Posted: 11 Oct 2013
The biggest favelas, like Rocinha and the famous Cidade de Deus (City of God), have upwards of 70,000 inhabitants, and the sprawling alleyways, housing density and anarchic infrastructure have long held a grim fascination for outsiders. But they have also historically been controlled by some of the world's most unscrupulous crime lords, and Cabral Filho and his security secretary José Mariano Beltrame haven't been shy in dealing with it. They've used the special BOPE battalion of Rio's military police to rout the crime bosses, before sending in the UPP as a permanent peace-keeping presence. BOPE, it's fair to say, is a unit so well tooled up it could wage a war, which is exactly what the likes of Amnesty International claim the authorities are doing. BOPE's logo makes a Norwegian death metal band look like LittleMix, and one of its armoured vehicles is called ‘Caveirão' (Big Skull). Unsurprisingly, violent crime is down.