When the neighborhood improves.
Adriana Peixoto would fit right in at the trendiest Rio de Janeiro bar with her hipster glasses and the big black tattoos on her calves.

But for a weekend gossip session over beers and seafood paella, the 35-year-old audiovisual producer and her friends settled on a venue that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago: a bar in a "favela," one of the hillside slums that were long ruled by ruthless and heavily armed drug gangs and off-limits to outsiders.

The vast majority of Rio's murders still occur in the favelas, some of which are plagued by sporadic shootouts. But under a five-year-old "pacification" program aimed at making Rio safer ahead of next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, police once kept out now have bases in nearly three dozen of the 1,071 slums dotting the city.


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