April 21, 2009

NEWS: Rio 'shanty town reporter' tells her story

Rio 'shanty town reporter' tells her story

Brazilian teenager Mayra Avellar was awarded the Children's Peace Prize in 2008 for organising a protest against drug-related violence in her shanty town. Here she tells how the battle between police and the traffickers affects the lives of people in her community.

I am 17-years old and live in Vila Cruzeiro, one of the shanty towns or favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Vila Cruzeiro is in the north of the city. Around 120,000 people live here and at times it can be a difficult place because of the violence. It hits us when we least expect it.

We are not able to do anything. We cannot go to school, people cannot go to work and we have to stop our lives.

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