Monthly Archives: May 2014

ITAQUERA, SÃO PAULO – Anti-World Cup protesters have defied a FIFA ban on demonstrations at the exhibition of the tournament trophy at a shopping mall next to São Paulo’s World Cup stadium.

A small, vocal group of “Não Vai Ter Copa” (There Won’t Be A World Cup) protesters defied the ban, gathering outside the Shopping Metrô Itaquera, next to the Arena Corinthians stadium, where the trophy is on display to paying guests until 1 June.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO (AA) – The President of Brazil’s Supreme Court, Joaquim Barbosa, the first black person to hold the position, is to retire in June, it was announced on Thursday.

Nominated to join Brazil’s highest court by former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003, Barbosa, 59, rose up the ranks to head the court as Chief Justice in November 2012.

He is one of Brazil’s most popular and influential public figures, and was voted in the top 100 influential men in the world by Time Magazine in 2013.

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Anadolu Agency – photo by Ben Tavener

SÃO PAULO – Brazil’s Atlantic forest has suffered its worst level of deforestation since 2008, an NGO report published on Tuesday revealed.

Between July 2012 and June 2013, deforestation affected nearly 24,000 hectares (92 square miles) of native Atlantic forest and so-called “restinga” coastal forest, an increase of around 9% on the 22,000 hectares lost in the 2011-2012 period.

It is the third time in a row that deforestation has increased in Brazil’s most threatened type of native habitat. The state of Minas Gerais is the worst offender of the 17 Brazilian states the forest crosses.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – Suicides among indigenous populations in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul have reached a 28-year high, a local missionary organisation reported on Monday.

The Missionary Council for Indigenous Peoples, CIMI, said that data from a study of violence against Brazil’s indigenous people showed 73 Indians committed suicide in 2013 in the central-western state, of which 72 belonged to the Guarani-Kaiowá tribe.

“They have no future; they get no respect; they have no work or land to plant crops and live,” Guarani-Kaiowá leader Otoniel was quoted in the CIMI report as saying.

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SÃO PAULO – Saturday’s anti-World Cup protest in São Paulo, the latest to be held under the #nãovaitercopa (“There Won’t Be A World Cup”) banner, might not have had the crowds of Thursday’s march led by the Homeless Workers’ Movement (MTST), but it seemed to herald a change in tactics for the group and other protest movements: coordinating calls with the public sector for a general strike to disrupt the event and pressure the government.

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SÃO PAULO – Thousands of people have vented their anger over World Cup spending at a protest in the centre of São Paulo on Thursday evening, and demanded that the government free up funds for housing for the poor.

The protest was led by the Homeless Workers’ Movement (MTST) and allied groups, and also included anti-World Cup and leftist political factions. Police said around 5,000 people took part, but organisers put the number at 32,000.

“The ball is now in the people’s, the workers’ court,” an MTST leader, Guilherme Boulos, said in a closing speech to the protest march, which ended on São Paulo’s famous Ponte Estaiada.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – A wildcat strike by bus drivers in São Paulo continued for a second day on Wednesday, with many commuters struggling to reach workplaces and schools.

Drivers and conductors from five bus companies continued their walkout and protested at various locations, with buses lined up to block bus lanes and at least nine of 28 bus terminals out of action by early Wednesday evening.

The stoppages come just three weeks ahead of the World Cup, with other public workers also on strike with more threatening walkouts in the coming days that could weigh on the sporting mega-event.

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SÃO PAULO – Four of Brazil’s top World Cup footballers met children from poor backgrounds on Tuesday at an event organised by World Cup sponsors Gillette.

(See more of my photos of Oscar, Paulinho, David Luiz and Dani Alves messing about with shaving foam.)

The event gave a group of children from the CUFA favela organisation the chance to meet and pose with the star footballers, who will make up Brazil’s World Cup squad – the Seleção.

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