The 2016 Summer Olympics are scheduled to kick off in Rio de Janeiro in two weeks. The Games will undoubtedly draw many people, both in person and via broadcasts. But while the events themselves are the attraction, a new photo series from the Associated Press shows the devastating reality of what’s happening just beyond the Olympic Village in Rio’s violent, gang-dominated slums.
Rio’s violence, much of which comes from gang warfare and drug trafficking, has been making headlines around the world in recent months. And for good reason: the murder rate has increased by 15 percent and the robbery rate by 30 percent since last year.
These new photos taken by Felipe Dana throughout June and July gives some real-world context for those numbers.
“In these communities you can see what real life is like. This is our reality,” one anonymous drug trafficker told the AP.
The violence, of course, isn’t gripping all of Rio. It’s primarily happening in the city’s favelas “where poverty, drug gangs and young men with assault rifles dominate life for hundreds of thousands of residents,” the AP reports. (Bodies can be seen in some photos; while we’re not posting them here, they can be found in the rest of the gallery.)
The 2016 Olympics themselves have already been a giant clusterfuck, and the Games haven’t even started: Doping scandals (plural), sewage problems, murdered mascots, Zika, protests, financial emergencies, creepy surveillance, and bad infrastructure, to name a few.