RIO DE JANEIRO – Sixteen girls from one of Rio de Janeiro's biggest slums have celebrated a fairy-tale evening in a debutante ball sponsored by local police.
The 15-year-old girls from Mangueira wore long evening gowns and fancy hairdos as they were driven in a pink limousine to the samba school where the ball was held Thursday night.
The ball was organized by the Peacemaking Police Unit installed in Mangueira last year.
The unit is one of several in a program aimed at improving the city's security before the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
Debutante balls have been a custom among upper-middle-class and wealthy Brazilian families. They mark a girl's transition from childhood to adulthood.