Violence mars Brazil anti-World Cup protest

One person was shot and 135 arrested when police and protesters clashed at an anti-World Cup protest in Sao Paolo.

Violence mars Brazil anti-World Cup protest

World Bulletin / News Desk

More than 100 people were arrested, and one protester was shot by military police in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, on Saturday night, when a demonstration against the upcoming World Cup turned violent, state officials said Monday.

Sao Paulo’s Department of Public Safety (SSP) told Anadolu Agency Monday that 135 protesters were detained following the protest, which Brazilian media reported brought some 2,000 protesters onto the street. Smaller demonstrations also took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and other cities.  

The violent protest prompted President Dilma Rousseff to call an emergency meeting to discuss the possibility of violence during this summer’s World Cup, which begins in June, Brazilian news daily Estado de S. Paulo reported.

Tension mounting

Protests over Brazil’s endemic corruption and the poor basic services swept Brazil in June, bringing at their peak more than a million people onto the streets in cities across the country. Many protesters say that the movement was quickly galvanized by the violence with which military police attempted to repress it. Images of police using rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas against reporters and unarmed peaceful protesters spread quickly through social media, causing outrage.

FIFA quickly became a target for protesters, as protesters criticized the many millions of tax dollars spent on the 2014 World Cup, instead of schools and hospitals.

On Saturday, protesters held signs saying “Dilma, listen to me: The World Cup will have a fight”, and “Brazil, let’s wake up: Teachers are worth more than Neymar,” in reference to the famous Brazilian football player.

More protests are planned ahead of the World Cup, including demonstrations to coincide with the opening match, in Sao Paulo.

Fearful of violence at a time when international scrutiny will be fierce – and just a few months before President Rousseff faces reelection - Brazil has created a special 10,000-riot force to control protests anticipated during the World Cup. FIFA has also established a two-kilometer “exclusion zone” around the stadiums so that protesters cannot get too close to fans attending matches.

Protester shot on Saturday night

According to the Sao Paulo’s Department of Public Safety (SSP), Fabricio Proteus Nunes Fonseca Mendonca Chaves, 22, was shot after military police officers approached him in central Sao Paulo. Police searched Chaves, officials said, and an “explosive device” was found in his backpack.

Chaves subsequently tried to flee the scene, and, when pursued by the police, drew a box cutter from his pocket and tried to attack police. At this point military police shot Chaves in the right shoulder and inner left thigh, a SSP statement said.

The shooting is under investigation by both the Military Police and the Civil Police, the SSP statement added.

Chaves was taken to the Santa Casa hospital in Sao Paulo. Felipe Cesar, a spokesman for the hospital, told Anadolu Agency that Chaves was in a serious, but stable condition, and was able to breathe without a respirator.

Last Mod: 28 Ocak 2014, 10:02
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