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One man, one city, three evictions: the human cost of Rio's growth

by Nicky Milne and Jo Griffin

More than a quarter of Rio's 6 million-strong population live in 1,000 informal settlements known as favelas. Many live under a constant threat of eviction and removal, but 61 year old Altair Guimarães  may be unusual: he has been evicted three times in his live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One Man, One City, Three Evictions tells his story.

Guimarães' life  illustrates how  re-development, property speculation and gentrification of Brazil's second biggest city has pushed many of its poorest residents to the edges, a pattern seen globally.

His  idyllic  childhood in a favela on the edge of Freitas Lagoon came to an end when he was 14, when he was moved to the notorious and violent 'City Of God'.  Evicted again, as an adult he found home in the peaceful community of Vila Autodromo, but the Rio Olympics provided the final impetus for this community to be evicted.

This eviction was the final bitter chapter in a life-long quest to put down roots in the city of his birth.

Life has turned Guimarães into a fighter: today he is supporting the community of Horto, who themselves are under threat of eviction and have taken their case to the Supreme Court.

Read the story here: