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The Past and Present of Alto Camorim

The community of Alto Camorim has existed for more than 100 years; my cousin Moacir Francisco de Azevedo, who lives here and is 89 years old, was born in the community and his father, Caetano, whose name appears in the book Sertão Carioca by Cecília Meirelles, worked for Vitória da Sá, who used to own all the land from Camorim to Vargem Grande.

Time passed and everyone established their families and livelihoods here. They were farmers and cultivated bananas, manioc, vegetables and beans; raised pigs and hens; and hunted and fished in the Baixada de Jacarepaguá.

Today the community is composed of 200 houses and approximately 1000 inhabitants. Our biggest problem is persecution by the city government, with their threats of removal and their interest in this area that continues to be the home of poor people. The government has decided that the land should belong to the upper class, a decision which makes us taste the bitter taste of social exclusion. All that we want is to stay in our community. This is where our true identity is found, and it is a crime to brutally destroy any person’s identity.