The Brazilian government announced Monday that it would invest 100 million reais (56.8 million U.S. dollars) to provide public services in the country's largest shantytown Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro.
The move came after a large-scale police operation Sunday morning to expel drug dealers who had controlled the Rocinha neighborhood for decades and caused an absence of public services such as garbage collection, running water and electricity network. Illegal cable TV and broadband Internet connections are common in the area.
With the police ready to secure the area now, the government has decided to increase its presence in Rocinha and support the private sector to settle down in the slum area.
Water company workers are already examining the area to improve distribution, and the local garbage disposal company is carrying out a massive cleaning operation. A tram service is also being planned.
A library, a day-care facility and a youth center are already being built in the slum, and the government announced that a 14,000-square-meter park will be built in the next few months.
State-owned bank Caixa said it will open a branch in Rocinha. The government is negotiating with private companies to offer cable TV and broadband Internet services at popular prices.
Rocinha, along with nearby slums Vidigal and Chacara do Ceu, was captured in an ambitious operation involving 3,000 local and federal police officers, as well as some 200 marines, backed by eighteen armored vehicles and seven helicopters.
Not a single shot was fired during the raid, which is hailed as a major success by the authorities, and a large step toward the pacification of the city, which will host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
The takeover was preceded by the arrest, last Thursday, of Rocinha's drug lord Antonio Bonfim Lopes, known as "Nem," one of the most wanted criminals in Rio.
Though there were no shootings, the police managed to make considerable drug and weapon seizures in Rocinha.
According to Rio's Public Security Secretary Jose Mariano Beltrame, some 900 police officers of Rio's 19th Pacifying Police Unit will be stationed in the region to eradicate drug trafficking and ensure peace.