RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Rio's Santa Marta favela became the first slum in the city to be “pacified” by police in 2008.
Law enforcement wrested control of the hillside from drug dealers and installed permanent community officers as part of a program city officials say is making Rio safer in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
The controversial program was recently criticized by Pope Francis, but Santa Marta has become a poster child for what it aims to achieve.
Residents say life has improved in the neighborhood, which overlooks many of the city’s most famous landmarks.
And the favela is now a tourist destination. Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms visited together earlier this year.