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House prices in the Dona Marta favela overlooking Botafogo beach in Rio de Janiero have quadrupled in the past year. Part of the reason is Brazil’s booming economy, probably more is President Lula’s policy of Bolsa Familia (providing a cash safety net of cash to the poorest Brazilians) but mostly it is because Dona Marta was the first in a pilot programme to take back the favelas from the drug dealers.

For years, drug lords have ruled Rio’s hillside…

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