Monday, February 20, 2006

Off to Salvador

Well, I had a rockin' time here in São Paulo, but now it's time for me to head out to Salvador for the biggest party of the year and the biggest party in the world, Carnaval. I have a bunch of pictures emailed to myself that I will upload and post when I return to Curitiba, this way I can clear my memory card of all pictures and be able to take around 1,000 pictures (that's how many my two memory cards will allow me to take). If I take that many, you can be sure I will definitely not be posting that many, but I will definitely post the best ones I have.
All in all, I saw some awesome stuff in São Paulo, and I saw a couple things that were really depressing and things I had never before seen. Again, will post about that later.
I got to go to three places I've wanted to go to for quite a while:
a) Autódromo de Interlagos - this is the place I most wanted to visit
b) Liberdade - this is the place I most wanted to eat and buy a few things at
c) Carandirú - this is the place I most wanted to experience and photograph
A few things about Carandirú before I post this and leave. It was the most haunting place I've ever been. Just being there, walking through the ruins of the place and knowing the horrible acts that happened and were committed here sent chills through me and actually made me drop a few tears. It is definitely sad to have seen this movie, heard about all of the stuff that happened here, then to actually walk through the prison cells with only the cement corners standing, forming a little walkway and path through what is now a beautiful park. It was definitely a haunting experience. I would post pictures now but I need to sit back and relax for a few minutes before I leave for the airport.
I hope everyone is doing great and everyone back home is having a huge party under the rule of our great president. I definitely can't wait to come back to that. :sarcasm:
Actually, here is a picture from the park that is now where some of Carandirú prison used to be. I will post more about my experience there and more about my impressions with the place.
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I don't have time to say anything else about the place or my trip here, so enjoy this last post and I will be posting more on March 3rd or 4th, unless I am somehow able to post before then.
Stolen from Wikipedia about Carandirú:

"The 1992 Carandiru Massacre occurred on 2 October 1992 in Carandiru Penitentiary (Brazil São Paulo) and is considered a major Human Rights violation in the History of Brazil.

During the rebellion, Military Police invaded Carandiru, which was undergoing a prisoner riot. 111 prisioners were killed, 102 died of gunshots fired by Military Police, and 9 died of stab wounds, apparently inflicted by other prisoners before the arrival of the police. None of the 68 police was killed. The commanding officer of the operation, colonel Ubiratran Guimarães, was initially sentenced to 632 years in prison for his handling of the rebellion and massacre. On 16 February 2006 a Brazilian court annulled Guimarães' conviction after taking into account claims that the previous trial was flawed. Several human rights groups condemned the situation as a "step backward" and a contribution to the culture of impunity regarding police violence in Brazil.

These events are documented in the book "Estação Carandiru" by the Doctor Dráuzio Varela and inspired the 2003 movie Carandiru."

There is a lot more under the Portuguese language section of the site, but since none of you people reading this know any Portuguese, I won't post it. I will also post a little more info from a local about the real reason this guy was let off the hook. I hope everyone has some great time ahead and take it easy everyone.

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