Residents look on as Brazilian military police officers patrol Mare, one of the largest complexes of favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 30. In one of the world's most violent countries, homicide rates are dropping — but only for whites. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mario Tama/Getty Images

Two young men play street soccer in the Rio de Janeiro shantytown of Vidigal on May 14. Marcelo Sayao/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Marcelo Sayao/EPA/Landov

Robert Laurindo recently opened Casa da Tapioca in favela Vidigal, in Rio de Janeiro. He purchased a two-level, one-bedroom building, which includes the cafe on the ground floor. Here, he serves his grandmother's tapioca recipes to Elizangela Ferreiro, right, and her daughter, Jessica da Silva, originally from Sao Paulo, who recently moved to Vidigal. Lianne Milton for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lianne Milton for NPR