Friday, February 28, 2014

A walk through murder & mayhem - São Paulo

As everyone knows, my favorite section of Folha de São Paulo is one titled "Cotidiano" or Daily Life. Also referred to by me as Murder & Mayhem -- this section is filled with the bad stuff of the city. Okay, some good stuff but mostly bad.

I am going to take you on a little walk-through of yesterday's paper so you can see why it's my favorite.

C1: Front page. Here the story is about how the police has discovered a plan to rescue "Marcola", the leader of São Paulo state's biggest gang, the PCC. Marcola, it seems, was sentenced to 160 years in prison in 2013 and is currently locked up in Presidente Venceslau Prison, 611 kms from São Paulo. That is close enough for me. So, yes, apparently the PCC paid for some members to get pilot licenses and they were going to use two bulletproof helicopters painted like Military Police helicopters then get him to an airplane and from there across the border to Paraguay. Poor Marcola: they are now trying to transfer him to a Regime Disciplinar Diferenciado--known as solitary confinement for 22 hours a day. Yikes.

C2: Weather and an opinion article. Plus a view of this week's traffic messes from construction. Never mind.

C3: Ah, this is fun. There was a blackout at Cumbica, also known as Guarulhos International Airport, the international airport for this city. Twenty minutes of power loss, no one knows why, but no one has been sued yet. The security line looks bad. Good thing I am not traveling. Anyway, I subtitle this one "Imagine during the World Cup."

C4: An ongoing story about an actor who was wrongly identified as committing a crime and spent 16 days in jail before being exonerated. He forgives his accuser and said with a great deal more sympathy than I would have " it could have happened to anyone." And yes, we do have a big racism problem in Brazil. I saw it first hand when a young black man who worked for me in 1998 was pulled out of his expensive (corporate) car and frisked by one cop while another watched him over the barrel of a gun. That was not in the paper. That is engraved in my brain.

C5: Ah, there's a story I can't really read. It's about two kids who were inside a school van when it was hijacked by two bad guys. This stuff makes me ill. At the bottom of the page is an article about the house of representatives here considering legalizing marijuana.

C6: Agh, now this story makes me crazy. It's an "Anti-rationing plan" to use the unclaimed water in the reservoirs. The water that is below the tunnels. The plan would take 6 months to put into action. Meanwhile the water level has dropped to 16.8% full. Yep, even after the rains a couple of weeks ago.  Now here's my question, same as then: "why are we not panicking yet?"

C7: A woman loses her arm after being pushed in front of the train at the metro station Sé.  Or not. It seems that maybe she was trying to get away from two security officers and threw herself at the train. She had said she was pregnant and got into the special line but an intern said no, and then things went from there. There is nothing to be learned here. Later on the page is a small story about how facebook erased a Folha post on facebook that was themed "Flying penis." I am sorry I did not finish this article but you can find out more online. Or not.  Ah and finally a note that two Brazilians who dressed like women in Dubai have been deported.

C8: The final page of Cotidiano before going into the Health section talks about how the Carnaval parades are going to start in the rain on Friday. And where to buy tickets. And how to get out of the city in all this traffic. The final story is about a bar that was closed for thirty days for selling alcohol to minors (under age 18 which is legal drinking age here).

It's been a busy day in Murder &Mayhem.

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