Request for "The Side of Rio that doesn't make the News" is now granted. I'll add to my posting schedule a list of interesting Rio occurrences from the paper or personal experience. Here are the highlights from today's O Globo.
1. 40 policemen, arrested for organized crime, extortion, corruption, illegal arms dealing and other crimes, were ordered released from jail by the courts yesterday. They're going to respond to the accusations in "liberdade." How nice. No bail or nothin'.
2. Motorcycle delivery/errand boys must now be insured, by the company that hires them, for at least R$50,000. According to the text, motorcycle accidents raised the traffic death rate almost 24% in the last decade. The mortality rate of motorcyclists in the same period was 753.8%.
What isn't mentioned in the article is that traffic in Rio generally doesn't obey any posted signs, the three lanes are invariably turned into de-facto four, five and six laners, and that motorcyclists ride in the spaces BETWEEN cars. Or on the sidewalk. They don't believe in lanes. Will insurance really cover failure to obey traffic laws? I doubt it.
3. In other legal news, the deceased singer Claudinho's then-girlfriend will receive from the highway company Nova Dutra R$13,500 for damages to his vehicle, a monthly pension of R$2,000 until age 70 and R$500,000 for moral damages. Why? He died in 2002, when his car slid during a rainstorm, slid off the road and hit a tree. Why is this the highway company's fault? Irregularities in the highway, as a tree was allowed to grow 2 METERS from the retaining wall with NO PROTECTION. Imagine that. Apparently, the highway's claim that the accident occurred because of driver error, a high rate of speed and sleeping at the wheel didn't fly. Tree trumps personal responsibility.
4. And remember, I'm giving away a copy of my poetry book to a blog reader! Or, I'd like to...but so far, no one has responded. (See my sad face? No one wants free poetry?) Write me a quick email using the Contact tab above, or leave a comment below. I'll randomly select a name after the long weekend (it's Tiradentes followed by Good Friday and Easter) and announce the winner early next week.