Brazil is a country on the up. Economic growth, an increase in average wealth, the FIFA World Cup is coming in 2014 and the Olympic Games pay a visit in 2016. However, in a country on the up there is always a group of people who don’t benefit and take the way down. In this series the focus is on the ever growing population of crack addicts, who roam the streets like extras in The Walking Dead. [14 photos total]

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1
A drug trafficker shows a rock of crack in the old center of Salvador da Bahia March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Lunae Parracho) #
2
A drug user consumes crack in the old center of Salvador da Bahia March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Lunae Parracho) #
3
A combination picture shows a street in Sao Paulo during the day (L) and at night March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker) #
4
Crack addicts consume the drug on a street in Sao Paulo March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker) #
5
Crack addicts smoke along a bridge in the center of Belo Horizonte March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Washington Alves) #
6
Drug users consume crack in a neighborhood of Curitiba March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Rodolfo Buhrer) #
7
Crack addicts smoke under a bridge in the center of Belo Horizonte March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Washington Alves) #
8
A 23-year-old man consumes crack in downtown Manaus March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Bruno Kelly) #
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Crack addicts consume the drug on a street in Sao Paulo March 20, 2012 (REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker) #
10
A youth consumes crack on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
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Crack consumers gather in the Gloria neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
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A drug user smokes crack in the old center of Salvador da Bahia March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Lunae Parracho) #
13
A youth consumes crack on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
14
A youth consumes crack on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro March 19, 2012. Many Brazilian cities now have their own cracklands areas of the city where swarms of crack users have converted entire neighborhoods into nocturnal encampments doubling as open-air crack markets. At nightfall throngs of stupefied buyers crowd around dealers before skulking away behind the telltale glow of cigarette lighters. Sociologists, health experts, and law enforcement officials all agree that crack use is a rapidly growing problem that puts Brazil squarely in the center of the international drug trade, just a few years ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. Picture taken March 19, 2012 (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #

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