In November 2011, Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes arrested. For four years he had ruled as head of a drug cartel on Rocinha, Brazil’s largest favela, and had risen to the most wanted criminals in the country. Then he had to move into the high-security prison Campo Grande. There, the British journalist Misha Glenny was allowed to visit him back ten times over two years.
The material he accumulated during 28 interview hours, processed Glenny in his book ” Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio ” Misha Glenny:” Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio “at” learned in the talks Misha Glenny not only a lot about the ‘craft’ of a major criminals – the drug business, the world of dealers monitoring and money driving in the leadership roles in the hierarchy and the large security team – but also the people approached to.
They talked about family, faith, responsibility, authority, the “survival in a hostile environment.” Interviews with women at Antonio’s side, with friends, police officers, politicians and journalists complemented the impressions of the author, who even lived even for a time in the favela.
Rocinha is located on a hill located in Rio de Janeiro , How many people spend their lives here, no one knows exactly – a hundred to a hundred and twenty thousand well. There is no electricity, no sewer, no work, but daily fights, thefts, robberies, the “rattle semi-automatic weapons.” In the south, most are located in the immediate vicinity Rios Neighborhood: Ipanema, Leblon, Sao Conrado, Gavea. Their pampered residents like to use for simple services of cheap labor, but none of them would the slum enter.
Here Antônio was born in 1976. Poverty and chaos, alcohol and beatings determine the everyday family life, and yet Antônio Rocinha called the most beautiful place on God’s earth and a childhood there as a “true privilege”. Perhaps the neighborly helpfulness experienced by the delicate boy, the reason for its glorification of terror place, although there are many street children begging for their daily survival, stealing, must fight and suffer many terrible blemishes. Antônio revered his father that he cares about them, what little he has left gives them, and teaching him that “Give a good thing”.
At 23, Antonio has long even family man , Shortly before Christmas 1999 is diagnosed a severe, often fatal disease in his small daughter Eduarda. His wages is not enough to buy the necessary medicines their savings is running low. He promises help from Luciano ( “Lulu”) Barbosa da Silva, the same age as boss of drug trafficking in the favela. The offers him a loan, he should work off -. Goo stayer
Antônio is the moral dilemmas are aware before the Lulu him up. As he wants nothing to pursue as a normal working his friends, but the financial predicament urges him on the straight and narrow. If he can decide differently? Thus Antônio climb the first rung on the ladder that will catapult him within a short time to the top. He was “fist on the way to Mephistopheles,” Glenny formulated somewhat pompously. Guided by Lulu learns Antônio quickly how to run the business. But in 2004, his mentor is killed in a police raid. The government is celebrating its supposed victory in the fight against the drug mafia. But it has only created a power vacuum that provide around which rival drug lords soon bloody conflicts.
Who prevails, is Antônio. One and a half years after Lulu’s death, he takes over his position and expanding its domination of Rocinha, the “paradise for Dealer” which brings in tons of money, further. Three hundred followers, to the terrifying from simple watchdog, heavily armed mercenaries of the “Security”, securing his kingdom. The “Amigos dos Amigos” ( “Friends of friends”), a criminal gang whose head he is terrorizing the favelas and are in constant struggle with the rival criminal organization “Comando Vermelho” ( “Red Command”), which veritable weapons of war has.
But terror and cruelty are only one side of the coin of Antonios regiment. “O Nem da Rocinha” ( “the baby of Rocinha” is his cutesy nickname) behaves like, the example of his father generously surpassing the favela as a good person. He regularly can be distributed among the poorest food baskets and drugs. Children and young people he exhorts – hear, hear: to focus on learning and not to be distracted by video games
The highlight of his career achieved “o Nem” 2009. Rocinha is somewhat pacified, the violence declined. , With his new wife, the party girl Danubia, and children, he leads a glamorous, supervised by bodyguards lives in the lap of luxury. The charismatic, attractive Don, his capuchins with tailored vest and tiny cowboy hat on his shoulder, offering the people bread and circuses and staged impressive performances in the style of Roman emperors, “armed Praetorian Guard and in formation” with. “A cool guy, I like him,” is José Junior, a world-renowned Afro-reggae musician, as well: “There are no good drug dealers … They are all bad – Every kill.” the human side of the Grand criminals can Misha Glenny not unimpressed. When he asked the people of the favela, he heard a lot of positives, as if “o Nem” a sort of father of his country. The Fama its Care earned him the well-meaning nickname of “King of the favelas,” the wegblendet the brutal reality. Because of course continue the street battles rage of warring gangs, traitors are massacred, girls in Copacabana brothels shipped or already pregnant as a nine-year-old.
But then the “Baby of Rocinha” grows the strenuous business apparently over his head. The government tightened its challenge, puts a bounty on him. Sooner or later he would be arrested or killed. Danubia tells Misha Glenny that Antônio was “less and less the daily demands grow.” In November 2011, he faces up to the police. Of course, he knows that he can serve out his term left, because the assets are stashed away, the future secured his children.
Although Misha Glenny quite admire in the personality of the “King of the favelas” stated he can not be fooled. And on the other side – that of the guardian of order – he is hardly less frightening. That drug and arms trafficking to flourish as smooth and lucrative ensure not least officials who participate through bribes. Moreover, the State relies on escalation.
So confusing the situation in Rio de Janeiro, where a web of corruption, the supporting network and clear policy guidelines clearly missing, so confusing is also Misha Glennys book. The underlying tenor gives the impression that it let to live under the control of the drug mafia as good or bad as under the dubious protection of the government. An assessment of what is here good or bad, useful or harmful, seems impossible. At the end of the dreary conclusion remains that the deplorable social ills can hardly give people a choice but mitzumischen in the criminal milieu. “Nem is not a role model, but he is not the devil … he had enjoyed a decent education, he would have become a successful businessman with security. With no criminal ambitions”.