.. in an unprecedented move, some drug traffickers have unilaterally decided to stop selling crack in the favelas they control. In both Mandela and Jacarezinho favelas - combined home to more than 100,000 residents - crack can no longer be purchased. Two drug bosses, who control each favela, gave the orders to halt sales.
"I am not going to lie to you, there is a lot of profit to be made on crack," said Rodrigo, a top trafficker in Mandela who used to manage all the crack operations, told Al Jazeera. He asked that his real name not be used. "But crack also brought destruction in our community as well, so we're not selling it anymore. Addicts were robbing homes, killing each other for nothing inside the community. We wanted to avoid all that, so we stopped selling it."
The traffickers in Mandela, like Rodrigo, readily admit they still sell marijuana and powder cocaine and were happy to show it to Al Jazeera. Business was good for those drugs; bags of money sat out on tables at sales points in the slum. But those other drugs, they said, don't seem to cause the same social problems in the favelas they control.
Crack sales have been halted in just two of Rio's favelas, but Flavia Pinheiro Froes, a lawyer who represents many drug traffickers, said she expects more drug bosses to join in soon.