Security & Strategic Review - June 2022

BRAZIL: São Paulo’s ‘crackland’ in the spotlight, again

The term ‘cracolândia’ is used in Brazil to designate an area where drug dependents, often crack users, congregate to take and buy drugs. While cities across Brazil house one or several ‘cracolândias’ – or ‘cracklands’ –, in São Paulo the word has come to refer to a specific area in the centre of the city, which concentrates a large homeless population, drug use in plain sight, and probably the country’s largest open-air retail drug market. This cracolândia has been a long-running public health and security challenge for successive administrations.

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