Marcelo Freixo, a 45-year-old state assemblyman and Rio's Mayor candidate speaks during a rally campaign in Rio de Janeiro

 
Marcelo Freixo, a 45-year-old state assemblyman and Rio
Marcelo Freixo, a 45-year-old state assemblyman and Rio's Mayor candidate speaks during a rally campaign in Rio de Janeiro August 24, 2012. To many in this coastal metropolis, Rio de Janeiro has never had it so good. After decades of decay, crippling crime rates, and a loss of big business to rival Sao Paulo, Rio is on the rise. A recent boom in Brazil's economy, the discovery of massive offshore oilfields nearby, and Rio's hosting of the World Cup and Olympics later this decade have restored some of the splendor to the tropical city of 6.5 million people. But one local official is tired of the exuberance. Freixo, a 45-year-old state assemblyman, thinks Rio needs a reminder of all that is wrong -- from uneven development to deep inequality to corruption and organized crime so powerful that, facing death threats, he fled to Europe last year. Now, the schoolteacher turned human-rights activist turned politician hopes his call for a reality check can help him, in October elections, topple the popular mayor who presides over all the preening. Picture taken August 24, 2012. To match with Feature BRAZIL-RIO/ REUTERS/Sergio Moraes