The low-income community of Coque in central Recife is home to between 13,000 and 40,000 people, depending on which statistical study you agree with. Within the neighborhood are various social projects geared towards improving the lives of those who live there and one of them is Coque (R)Existe. The movement has gathered together 25 organizations, both within and outside the community, to fight against the forced removal of its residents, which has been going on for the past 40 years. Up until today, 51% of Coque has been lost and those who lived in these areas had to move far from the city center.
The current problem affecting the community is that there are 58 families who were told their homes would be removed and they would be paid a small amount in compensation (update: their homens were saved!). The government and varied big businesses have a plan, which is said to improve the city’s public transport, to create the Joana Bezerra Integrated Terminal where these families’ homes now stand.
The problem, as the indie news outlet Recife Resiste puts it (PT), is that “Coque is a ZEIS – Zona Especial de Interesse Social (a Special Zone of Social Interest) -, which demands the kinds of policies that secure the right to home, health, education, culture and sanitation. Nothing less than that.” The law regarding these special zones, of which Recife has 61, has been in place since 1995 and it will hopefully guarantee the non-removal of those currently under threat. Read more about it here (PT), starting from page 10.
Below is a video by Imagina Na Copa, which is reporting on all the good things happening in Brazil and which improve the lives of others.