The Drug King Who Ran a Cartel to Save His Daughter
Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, or as he was better known, Nem, ran Rio de Janeiro’s most powerful cartel until it all came screeching to a halt.
The roughest area of Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro, the largest favela in Brazil, is almost at the very top. Rua Um, Road One, is where Lulu has his office. Lulu is Dono do Morro, King of the Hill, head of the local drugs trade and political boss of the favela. His word is law.
Above Rua Um lies the district of Laboriaux, which not only boasts the most spectacular view over Rio, but appears cleaner and more ordered than the rest of Rocinha—the favela’s very own Mayfair. This is where Lulu actually lives.
Without funds, Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes thinks long and hard about his next step. He has never engaged with drugs, never taken them, and has no intention of doing so. He is revolted by the violence, which has been a backdrop to his life. None of his childhood friends are in the business. They are all, like him, workers—taxi drivers, builders, waiters.