Bus 174

Bus 174” was an interesting movie about the hijacking of a bus in Brazil. The attempted robbery ended horribly, but the film explains how people like Sandro are forced into making decisions like this. With no family, no real friends, constantly staying high on cocaine and glue, and no chance of getting a real job or education, Sandro brought a voice to people like himself who were constantly ignored their entire lives.

With the death of his mother and the death of his friends at the Candaleria Church, Sandro had witnessed and lived through horrible events at a very young age. Being constantly placed in prison for robbing and stealing only made his life harder. The prison’s goals seemed aimed at breaking the inmates, not rehabilitating them. Seeing no way out, it is easy to see how Sandro continued to steal. The article, “The Heart that Bleeds,” shows just how children like Sandro get lost in  these Latin American countries. Even though the article is about Mexico, it explains how much emphasis the country and its leaders have placed on modernity. Losing much of its older traditions and focusing on building KFC’s and Taco Bell’s as the author explained, has some negative effects on the society. Unfortunately, children like Sandro are one of these effects. It is hard to imagine telling these middle and lower income countries not to industrialize, but they should consider its effects on the ones like Sandro. Without an education or previous work experience, Sandro could not get a job even though he wanted one. During the movie an older woman he lived with remembered him asking her who would hire him. The reality is that probably no one would.

The article, “The Drive- by Victim ,”shows what kind of effect unemployment can have on these people. The gang members need to come up with a few million pesos, and the only way to obtain this was by robbing people in need of a taxi ride. Just like Sandro in Bus 174, the robbers are not particularly portrayed as bad people. At the end of the article the author states he would have asked them to breakfast if he was braver. This is hard to understand, but there seems to be a sense of compassion towards the victims in both cases. They all seem to understand that the robbers are just trying to continue to make a living. This does not excuse their actions, but somehow there winds up being an understanding between the victims and robbers.

As these Latin American countries continue to industrialize, they need to consider how to handle the lower income, underprivileged people of the population. “Bus 174” and “City of God” show what kind of disastrous effects ignoring these people will have. They have to find a way to survive and this need for survival usually turns to crime and drugs. This is obviously a very tough situation with no easy answer, but people like Sandro need some sort of way to rehabilitate. Offering some sort of formal education and helping these people find a real job would be a good start. They need to know they have a place in society that does not revolve around drugs and crime.