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Favela Music Changes Lives

By Juliana Tafur, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – In a notoriously violent favela in Rio's North Zone lives a thirteen-year-old boy named Eric Marley. His early childhood in the Terra Encantada (Enchanted Land) slum was plagued by gang violence. Drug lords were his role models; police officers his enemies, and guns carved out of wood his favorite toys.

“I used to play games imitating drug traffickers,” Marley recalls. “I found their lifestyle appealing and believed I was going to follow in their footsteps when I grew up.”

But at the age of nine, Maria Black band guitarist . . .

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