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Covering Rio Violence
Covering Rio Violence

Jul 23, 2016

Areinha
Areinha

Jan 02, 2016

Crackland Portraits
Crackland Portraits

Oct 07, 2015

DAKAR 2015
DAKAR 2015

Jan 20, 2015

Soccer is everywhere
Soccer is everywhere

Jun 21, 2014

Mare slum
Mare slum

Apr 06, 2014

Protests in Brazil
Protests in Brazil

Nov 09, 2013

Crack Ban
Crack Ban

Aug 28, 2012

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Covering Rio Violence

© AP Photos / Felipe Dana

WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS

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Areinha

Far into the heart of Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, rural miners explore the massive craters left behind by giant mining companies in search of diamonds.

The area has been explored for the precious stone since the time of slavery. Up to a few years ago, multinational mining companies extracted the stone without concern for the land or the Jequitinhonha River crossing the region.

Today the devastated area known as Areinha is a no man’s land where small groups of rural miners try their luck with artisan techniques, using wooden knives, metal pans, large water pumps and no infrastructure.

In hopes of sparing the river any more damage, men and women searching for diamonds work around the riverbed as they try to legalize their mining activities with authorities.

Locals estimate there are hundreds of people across the region digging for diamonds in groups of 10 or less. They live in wooden huts without electricity and bathe with water in buckets, barely surviving without a stable income but on rare occasions enjoying a windfall of tens of thousands of dollars.

During the weeks-long mining process, the group excavates the soil down to a layer of gravel of up to 50 meters (yards) deep.

Rocks are extracted with the help of small pumps powered by old truck engines. The miners then use their hands to go through the rocks. If they’re lucky, they’ll find some diamonds.

Diamond mining sounds like a thing of the past to many Brazilians. But here, in areas that are hard to access, thousands of these artisanal miners survive and feed their families.

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Crackland Portraits

The markets are open around-the-clock, pulling in young mothers, truck drivers, the homeless, anyone looking to get high.
They are known as “cracolandia,” or crackland, the open-air bazaars found in some Rio de Janeiro slums where crack cocaine users can buy rocks of the drug and smoke it in plain sight, day or night.
Brazil, according to some recent studies, has become the world’s top consumer of crack cocaine, a cheap and highly addictive derivative of the coca plant grown in neighboring countries. An estimated 1 million crack users have become a frightening blight for the country, deeply troubling to government officials whose programs have done little to halt the drug’s spread.
Individually, the epidemic is comprised of people from all walks of life, some of whom once held jobs, some with loving families, who harbored dreams of a better existence, all lost to their addictions.
A makeshift portrait studio draws crack users from their dark, nightmarish surroundings. Some users open up and tell their stories, while others reveal it only through their eyes.

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DAKAR 2015

50 Photos of the Dakar Rally 2015…

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Soccer is everywhere

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Mare slum

The Mare slum complex, home to about 130,000 people and located near the international airport, is the latest area targeted for the government’s “pacification” program, which sees officers move in, push out drug gangs and set up permanent police posts. On the week following the initial invasion by military police, more than 2,000 Brazilian Army and Navy soldiers moved into the slum complex with armored personnel carriers and helicopters in a bid to improve security two months before the start of the World Cup.

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