Almudena Toral

Visual journalist
10 seconds
Location: Miami, FL
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Almudena Toral is a Spanish visual journalist and filmmaker currently based in Miami. She heads the feature visuals team at Univision News Digital – the team covers the U.S. and Latin America through documentaries, photo essays, visuals for... MORE
Public Story
10 seconds
Copyright Almudena Toral 2023
Updated Jan 2015
Topics crack, Cracolandia, Documentary, harm reduction, Sao Paulo

10 seconds is the average time it takes crack cocaine to reach a human brain. The intense high lasts from 5 to 15 minutes. With over one million users, Brazil has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of crack-cocaine users in the world. Cracolândia, in São Paulo, is the symbolic epicenter of the battle against crack. The historic city center has been taken over by crack addicts since 1989, and smoking crack is currently defacto legalized in a city block nicknamed "The Fluxo". After repeated failed government initiatives that used forced dissipation techniques and mandatory hospitalizations, the municipal government has started a new approach: it gives janitorial jobs, hotel rooms and food here to over 400 addicts without requiring them to leave the drug.  Some of these photographs have been published by The Guardian and VICE Magazine. This project was supported by an International Reporting Project health and development grant.

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