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January 15, 2013

Rio’s slum ‘pacification’ efforts trigger a rush to buy property

By JENNY BARCHFIELD
Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — Five years ago, Rio de Janeiro's “favela” hillside slums had such a bad rap that they were virtual no-go zones, where drug lords laid down the law and outsiders set foot at their peril.

But since 2011, police have seized control of dozens of favelas from drug gangs, and things have changed so dramatically that some of the slums are now seen as hot real estate investments — so hot, in fact, that two Europeans recently locked horns in a legal battle over a battered favela house.


 
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