Hamburger Hill Epilogue…




Following up on the madness I experienced last Tuesday, this is what happened in the following couple of days…

23rd April

It was pretty crazy to wake up the next day and see it had gone worldwide on all media outlets. I discovered this had all jumped off due to the murder of innocent dancer, Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira at the hands of the police. Watching the news on the BBC, I could see the same things I see when I walk out of the front door, this was pretty bananas.When I left the gaff that morning it was weird that everything was so tranquil after such unmitigated chaos. The aftermath though was clearly visible, there was glass literally everywhere, burnt out cars and cars that had survived were sporting nice new bullet holes.There were also reporters all over the favela interviewing people. I was under the impression that they would have been interested to get the perspective of the token favela gringo so I stuck my swede out trying to get noticed but I was sadly mistaken when no one took any notice of me.


Whilst I was training we had a visit from the police, who came and searched the apartment. The police were attacked the previous night from people in the surrounding apartments, so they obviously felt this was a necessity. Dudes apparently came in rocking masks, I’d imagine this is a measure taken so the drug traffickers don’t know who they are to retaliate on them. It doesn’t seem like the best idea for police already under the microscope for misconduct to be given anonymity from their actions, I’m just glad I wasn’t in that piece at the time. I have come to see in the last few days just how universally hated the police are here in the favela and seeing how this whole thing has played out it is apparent that they are not the good guys in this situation.

24th April

I discovered the lift had been closed due to the rioting so after training I had to walk up the 20 or some of the ghettoist flights of stairs known to man to get back to the gaff armed with bags full of shopping. This massive climb took over ten minutes and sucked so much ass, I passed quickly by the obligatory sleeping crackhead on the way up, for the next four flights I got my shuffle on, as I didn’t wanna get my cottage cheese jacked. As I reached the top fully covered in sweat & absolutely dying. I turned the corner to discover ten or so B.O.P.E (Brazil’s military police) stood directly in front of the entrance to the gaff. These dudes carry the biggest guns I have ever seen in my life and are pretty much the scariest dudes in existence. Whilst the regular police are strapped with some big ass weaponry they also are happy enough to be texting in one hand, eating a salgado with the other whilst checking out chick’s asses. These dudes rock the meanest muggs and appear focused on nothing else but pain and destruction.  Very quietly I muttered com licença’ as I stepped through the middle of them. Did they smile at the dumb-ass gringo obviously dying from walking up seven thousand stairs? Nope, their dead eyes pierced the very depths of my soul and read any impure that I’d ever thought about having. I did attempt to strap on some nuts and takes pictures of these dudes but managed to fail due to their extreme scariness.

There was continued violence that evening as members of community returned from attending the murdered dancer’s funeral. But this didn’t reach up into the favela. That was it everything back to normality although it is still impossible to walk anywhere in the favela without having a whopping gun pointed in your face.



This is a pic and video came from a blue belt match at yesterday’s Copa Arnold competition, dude in a wheelchair was helped onto the mats by the score keeper and ref and competed against his able bodied opponent. If you already do Jiu-Jitsu you know the deal but how awesome is it you can have a sport where this can take place?



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