Favela (Portuguese pronunciation: [faˈvɛlɐ]) is the term for a shantytown in Brazil, most often within urban areas. The first favelas appeared in the late 19th century and were built by soldiers who had nowhere to live. Some of the first settlements were called bairros africanos (African neighbourhoods). This was the place where former slaves with no land ownership and no options for work lived. Over the years, many former black slaves moved in.
Rocinha (little farm) is the largest favela in Brazil and is located in Rio de Janeiro's South Zone between the districts of São Conrado and Gávea. Rocinha is built on a steep hillside overlooking Rio de Janeiro and is located about one kilometer from a nearby beach. Most of the favela is on a very steep hill, with many trees surrounding it. 69,161 (census 2010) people live in Rocinha, making it the most populous favela in Brazil.
In the movie Rio, Favela Rocinha is the location of the Smugglers' hideout where Fernando brings Blu and Jewel who were kidnapped from Tulio's Aviary. Later when Fernando decides to assist Tulio and Linda in finding their missing birds, he led the two back to the hideout - riding a motorcycle that he traded for Tulio's jeep truck. Unexpectedly, the birds weren't there, as Tipa and Armando had already loaded the birds onto their poorly-designed chicken float truck. Fernando offered his help by volunteering to be an additional dancer in hopes of tracking Blu and Jewel. After Fernando and the two smugglers left the building, Tulio and Linda, who had been hiding behind the crates, realized what the smugglers' scheme was, and left Favela Rocinha, heading towards Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí, where the Carnival would be held and they could eventually get Blu and Jewel back.Rio 2. Later, Jewel also finds a Brazil Nut and fly's through this part of the city.
Police and Military Operations
In November 2011, a security operation was executed where hundreds of police and military patrolled the streets of Rocinha to crackdown on several rampant drug dealers and bring government control to the neighborhood.