Brazilians Protest Corruption In Government And Increase In Transport Fares

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More than a million Brazilians took to the streets of at least 80 Brazilian towns and cities in demonstrations that saw violent clashes and renewed calls for an end to government corruption and demands for better public services.

Riot police battled protesters in at least five cities, with some of the most intense clashes in Rio de Janeiro, where an estimated 300,000 demonstrators swarmed into the city’s central area.brazil-riot8 brazil-riot9

An 18-year-old man was killed in Sao Paulo after a car drove through barricades, while television images showed police firing tear gas canisters and rubber bullets into crowds of young men, their faces wrapped in T-shirts.

The scenes prompted president Dilma Rousseff to end her near-silence on the unrest sweeping the country by declaring that ‘the voice of the street must be heard and respected’.brazil-riot5 brazil-riot6

Rouseff delivered an address on primetime TV, which saw her pledge to improve public services and hold a dialogue with protest leaders. She said peaceful demonstrations were part of a strong democracy, but that violence could not be tolerated.brazil-riot4 brazil-riot3

‘I’m going to meet with the leaders of the peaceful protests, I want institutions that are more transparent, more resistant to wrongdoing,’ Rouseff said in referecence to perceptions of deep corruption in Brazilian politics, which is emerging as a focal point of the protests. ‘It’s citizenship and not economic power that must be heard first,’ she said. brazil-riot2

 

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