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Favela is a term used commonly in Brazil to describe slums -- areas of poor quality housing, often crowded onto the hillsides where sturdy buildings are difficult to build. Accidents, mainly from heavy rainfall, are frequent in such areas. Favelas are often troubled by drug related crime and gang warfare.

The most famous favelas are those in and around Rio de Janeiro where they provide a sharp juxtaposition of poverty and wealth.

Some rumor has it that common social codes inside of favelas forbid persons living in a favela to engage in crime and robbery while inside of their own favela.

See also: poverty, ghetto

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