Denise Costa dos Santos

"So many people have gone out of fear, many have died, it’s so sad, and it was so good before. Ah! It was so good, us with our peace here. But now, greed has done this. There was no need to knock down the houses"

Coming from
Vila autódromo Vila autódromo

Now living in
Vila autódromo Vila autódromo

I’m separated. I’ve got my son, my daughter isn’t with me, because she stays closer to her job, which is where her dad is. I’m not going to these containers. I’m going directly to the house – Piqui, that’s what the name of the street is going to be. It’s the street which has the church in it, Nelson Piqui, you know. So, now, there are going to modify certain things. Here where I am, it doesn’t exist anymore. They tried, but I didn’t give them the opportunity, as I already knew that some people wanted to leave, spontaneously, others to get money out of it, you know, they thought they would get more money, but I didn’t want to leave simply because I didn’t want to leave. I had my house, and then one arrived and said “you have to leave your house” and I said “I don’t agree.” I didn’t agree, so when they came to me I said straight away “I don’t want to go.” I want to stay here. And I said it like this – “goodbye. Excuse me.” That was that.

I went back into my house, and afterwards they never came back to speak to me, because I never gave them the opportunity. I just said “hi!” when I saw them from afar, but they already knew what my opinion was, so they never asked me anything else again, you know. Because when I said to them something like “I don’t want to” there wasn’t anything more to discuss. I had already got it into my head that I didn’t want to leave. I knew what was going to happen afterwards, and that was my decision. I am firm in my decision and I’ll go there to my new house, God willing, because I pray a lot to God. God will give us strength for things to go right for us, because we already are in the right.

The new house isn’t ready yet. But our faith is so much bigger, our faith. That’s what’s important. For me, that’s what is important. They are there, planning where our house is going to be. And our house will be a beauty, you know? It’s going to be all good. It’s our fight, isn’t it? And we’re going to win. We have already won. It’s so horrible, we eat dust the whole time. These workers suffer too, they eat a lot of dust, you know? You almost have to fly, because you can’t stay in one place. You just have to put up with it. Others ask you “are you still in that situation?” There’s nowhere for us to go, so I’m just putting up with it. And I pray, I ask God, God gives me strength, not just for me but for all the people who want to stay, and God helps. So that’s how it is, I pray for everyone.

And this business of, that someone else has to go through a hard time as well, so many things happen so quickly in our lives, for us later to understand what they are worth. What is there in terms of financial compensation? This I don’t know, because I’m separated from my husband, and haven’t got divorced yet. So we’re already had everything assessed here, its value, but I won’t go to City Hall to see if I’m going to get money or not, because money – I don’t want money. I want my house. And also, in the case of my husband wanting his half, he will have to go to City Hall. I don’t want to go there, because I didn’t even let them give me… if I turn up there now, they’ll say “ah! There was no need for any of this!” And there really wasn’t. As much because if you look to the other side of the lake, they don’t let you enter. Gosh, you see the film footage of how it was before, how people were, and so many people have gone out of fear, many have died, it’s so sad, and it was so good before. Ah! It was so good, us with our peace here. But now, greed has done this. There was no need to knock down the houses, just to regenerate it here. It has never been modernised. If they had done things right, we would have lived happily. Because to take people out this way, everything looks like, I don’t even know, a war zone, everything broken, bombed, it’s just like that. Really weird.

My journey

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