Latin America

9:51am

Thu June 6, 2013
Parallels

Once Unsafe, Rio's Shantytowns See Rapid Gentrification

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:38 pm

The small, hillside community of Babilonia, situated above the Leme and Copacabana neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, has ocean views.
Lianne Milton for NPR

A new gastronomic guide to Rio de Janeiro's shantytowns — for a cool $35 — has just been published. A new boutique hotel perched on top of one of Rio's previously most dangerous favelas is about to open. And yes, there is a jazz club and yoga, too.

These are new services catering to a new kind of favela resident.

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12:50am

Thu June 6, 2013
Parallels

For Venezuelans, Kidnappings Are Simply Business As Usual

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 6:18 pm

Kidnappings and other crime have infiltrated every aspect of daily life in Venezuela, especially the capital, Caracas, which was recently ranked the world's third most violent city.
Rodrigo Abd AP

German Garcia-Velutini got into his car and left work one day. It took him 11 months to get home.

Kidnappers had nabbed the Venezuelan banker. His abduction is part of a problem that's been getting worse every year for the past decade in Venezuela, which belongs to a region riddled with crime and the most violent cities in the world.

Gracia-Velutini tells his story at an outdoor table at a hotel in Caracas, the capital, with a view of a mountainside that climbs into the clouds.

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5:57am

Tue June 4, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Neruda's Death? Experts Say The Assassin Didn't Do It

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda arrives in Capri, Italy, in 1952.
Keystone Getty Images

5:33am

Mon June 3, 2013

11:52am

Fri May 31, 2013
Parallels

Rio Goes High-Tech, With An Eye Toward Olympics, World Cup

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:27 am

Rio's Operations Center brings together more than 30 agencies and allows them to coordinate on daily issues such as traffic, as well as on emergencies such as the frequent flash floods in hillside slums.
Raphael Lima Courtesy of the Operations Center, City of Rio De Janeiro

We are standing in front of a huge bank of screens, in the middle of which is a glowing map that changes focus depending on what the dozens of controllers are looking at.

The room looks like something straight out of a NASA shuttle launch. The men and women manning the floor are dressed in identical white jumpsuits. With a flick of a mouse, they scroll through dozens of streaming video images coming into the center.

This is Rio de Janeiro in real time.

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