• Fri. May 19th, 2023

Wild cost of cocaine in Brazil

The world has gained a rare glimpse inside one of Brazil’s most notorious slums where people brandish guns and grenades like fashion accessories and sell drugs in open-air markets for “insane” prices.

YouTube travel vlogger Timmy Kartyer gained unprecedented access to the infamous shantytown known as a favela, located in the north of Rio de Janeiro.

A censored clip from his almost 70-minute vlog – deemed too controversial for YouTube — has emerged from behind a paywall, showing Karter on a stop at a gang-run street drug market in the heart of the favela.

In the video, Karter captures the moments he is unbelievably offered grams of marijuana, cocaine, and “perfume” from a smorgasbord of drugs sitting for sale on tables, like fruit and veg sold at a farmers’ market.

The once-hidden clip begins with Karter riding on a motorbike, hiding the camera between him and the rider after being warned he “can’t film here” as they enter “the most dangerous place in the whole favela”.

“Oh my goodness. Guys, what I’m seeing now it’s out of a movie. F***ing hell, I can’t film that sh*t,” he can be heard saying.

The video then cuts to him at the drug market, camera pointed at the tables full of hard drugs for sale to the favela – salesmen, from local gangs, ask him to film their logos (the one Karter does film, “C.V.”, was that of one of “the largest criminal organisations in Brazil”) and offer him drugs.

But it was not just the unbelievable display of drugs on display in the neighbourhood, but the “insane” price the drugs were being sold for.

Cocaine, one of the sellers told him, was $4 for three grams – which, if in Brazilian Real, converts to about $AU1.22 – which stunned Karter.

“Bro, in London – I was working in London — guess how much this would cost? (For) three grams of cocaine?” he asked the gangster in return.

“Tell me how much!” the man replied.

“Around $200,” Karter said, or about $AU374.

In other words, according to the YouTuber’s calculations: three grams of cocaine in London cost 50 times more than cocaine in a Brazilian ghetto. That is a 5000 per cent price increase.

The revelation also stunned the drug trader, who made an astonishing suggestion to Karter: “You should buy it from here then and sell it in Europe!”

“I’m not a seller bro! I will end up in jail!” Karter replied, to which the drug pusher said “police are m*****f***ers”.

While he is at the market at the market, another man hands the YouTuber something and asks if he wants “Zorro”, explaining “it’s perfume” – or, as social media users explained beneath the clip, a sweet-smelling drug that is inhaled or sprayed.

“That was crazy. That was out of a movie, man,” Karter said as they sped away on the bike.

“They were selling anything you can imagine. People were super cool. I don’t know if I can ever post this on YouTube, oh my god.”

The YouTuber was also shocked that “everyone” had “massive, huge guns … even grenades”.

With the uncensored clip making the rounds on social media, people from Brazil and around the world were weighing in on the “wild” market and “mad” prices for the drugs.

Some said that short clip was “just the tip of the iceberg” in Brazil’s favelas, which are regarded as hotbeds for gang activity, violence, drug trafficking and extreme poverty.

“Drug trafficking currently dominates all of Rio‘s favelas and most of the suburbs, in some places they have blockades on streets to prevent police entry, and in some places they even control people’s internet, offering their own service,” one user wrote.

Another simply wrote: “This is the reality in the state of Rio de Janeiro and in the city of Rio de Janeiro.”

Karter said he was lost for words over the “insane” situation but said in the clip “that’s the reality here in favela”.

And despite being shocked by what he saw and the risks he took to film his day and night in favela, the Greek-native said there was nothing quite like getting a local to guide you through the city-within-a-city.

“If you ever go to Brazil, I definitely recommend finding a local and exploring favela to mix with the locals,” he wrote.

“It will give you a great perspective of how some people in other parts of the world are living, and you will see both sides of the coin – the positives and the negatives of life inside a Brazilian favela!”

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