Check out this video – In a society that has been constructed and maintained for centuries by elites who control most of the wealth, and with historically huge numbers of people with very little, violence as a part of everyday life should not be surprising. For centuries, the primary focus of this violence was against slaves and the poor peasants in the countryside. With the massive shift of millions of people from the countryside to the cities in the decades after World War II, that violence is primarily urban today. About 85% of all Brazilians live in urban areas, and roughly a third of them live in slums (favelas). The long running violence in the countryside—of powerful landowners against poor peasants—continues, but affects an increasingly smaller percentage of Brazilians. With millions of city dwellers living in abject poverty, massive unemployment and underemployment, it is not surprising many turn to crime. The rise of cocaine trafficking over the last generation, especially in Rio, has fueled much of the violence. (I would still like someone to explain to me why the cocaine and crime problem is so much worse in Rio than anywhere else in Brazil.) Like many major US cities, most of this violence is poor people hurting other poor people. In Brazil, as in the US, those who are not poor, tend not to pay much attention to this violence—until it affects them. Comments?