The Rio police began ‘pacifying’ the Vidigal favela on 18th January last year. The Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP) programme is currently cleaning up 30 favelas - shanty towns or slums - in line with an initiative set up in 2008 by Rio de Janeiro’s embattled governor Sérgio Cabral Filho. Organised crime is a huge problem in Rio, and with the football World Cup rolling into town in 2014 and the next Olympics following in 2016, the gloves are off.
Photography: Darren Heath
This feature was originally published in the March issue of Top Gear magazine