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    War in the Urban Milieu

    Random bullets hurting property values in Rio

    Cities are known for many hassles. Traffic. Pollution. Overcrowding. But in Rio De Janeiro, stray bullets are a growing hazard of city life.

    Fox News reports that the government is seeking to crack down on the drug traffickers who run the many poor slums in the 8 million person city. As a result, exchanges of high-powered weapons are commonplace. Collateral damage is occurring from unaimed, random bullets, which can be lethal from up to a mile away. In the first 3 months of 2007, at least 87 have been wounded by stray bullets.

    In Rio, poor neighborhoods, known as favelas (shown above), are in close proximity to wealthy neighborhoods. The worst areas are on the poor north side of the city, described in the Fox story as a "a drab urban sprawl that extends for miles behind the mountaintop Christ the Redeemer statue, which looks down over the city's richer neighborhoods and white sand beaches." And the news service notes that property values can be as much as 60 percent less for high-priced condos with windows facing the favelas.

    The news story reports that even flights into the city's downtown airport were diverted on one occasion due to a high-level of gunfire in a part of the city near the flight path. GEO


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