You notice it first coming out of the airport: a strategic wall placed along the highway that covers the sprawling informal settlement of Maré. Visitors have to pass this area on their way to the beaches in the South part of the city. Originally it was said that it this wall was an acoustic barrier to block the sound from the highway, but locals believe its only purpose is to ensure that tourists don’t see what’s happening behind it.
What’s behind it? An area of people in poverty, without housing rights, and limited access to proper sewage and public transportation.
But the wall is just the beginning. This short documentary by Vox explains the many ways Rio’s government has neglected its poor in order to create an image of the city fit for international visitors. As one person in the video described, Rio has now become “a city to invest in, not to live in.” Watch the video above to learn more.