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Foreign Correspondent

Being the Ongoing Tales, Triumphs, Struggles (mostly struggles) and Occasional Adventures of Freelance Foreign Correspondent Shawn Gerald Blore, based in Rio de Janeiro

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Recent Work

What have I been up to?
It's been a long time since my last post on the old Blore in Brazil blog. In the interim, I have moved from Ipanema (beach front neighbourhood of the young and beautiful, a long way from city centre, lily-white except for maids, cleaners and sellers of suco (fresh-squeezed fruit juice))
over to Leme (beach front neighbourhood of the old and wrinkled, lily white except for maids, cleaners, suco sellers and people commuting from the two nearby favelas of Babilonia and Chapeu-Mangueira.
Leme has the advantage of being much closer to Centro, and the disadvantage of being full or retirees. Retired officers - colonels and generals and the like - are particularly fond of Leme for some reason. The statue on the beach-front plaza in Leme is of General Castello Branco, possibly the most vicious of the military dictators who ruled Brazil during the 1964-1985 dictatorship.

Recent Work:
In terms of work, I have published a major report on diamond smugging in Brazil
(see The Failure of Good Intentions http://www.pacweb.org/e/ )

and begun an illustrious career in radio with a piece on CBC's The Current
(http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2005/200504/20050414.html )

and a similar, shorter version of the same piece on an NPR show, LatinoUSA
(See shows June 3-9, 2005 http://www.latinousa.org/program/index.html )

Selling the same material to several different outlets is one key to surviving as a freelancer. Alas, many outlets (newspapers, radio, magazines) seem to think they have a right to demand all rights to your work. This is an ongoing conflict, about which more later.

and done another piece for the Globe and Mail, just to keep my hand in. (link is only for subscribers. I'll get it up on my website soon. In the meantime, here's the opening graph

A nonchalant killer defends Rio-style justice

But vigilantes provoke Brazil's outrage after recent massacre of innocents

Special to The Globe and Mail

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The first man he killed was riding a bicycle. "I had been warned, so I had my gun, with a newspaper over top, like this." The man demonstrates a nonchalant squat on the concrete stoop of his modest house in the Baixada Fluminense, the ring of poor industrial cities surrounding Rio de Janeiro. "When the guy rode up, I shot him."

The killer, who gives his name only as Nilmo, says he has since killed another seven men, a tally he considers minuscule.

"My role in the group is more support. There are other guys who do most of the killing," he says.

The lead executioner of his group, a death squad that metes out vigilante justice in the city of Novo Iguacu on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, has dispatched at least 75 victims. All told, their death squad has killed hundreds.

"I'm God's lieutenant," Nilmo says. "The Bible says, the one to take life is God. I'm not God, but sometimes, with guys like these, you have to take them and send them on their way to God."


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