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A protest against the World Cup held in the centre of São Paulo has ended in running battles with riot police and at least 260 protesters detained on Saturday evening.

Police say around 1,000 people took to the streets around the central República area of the city. A strong presence by both military and specialist riot police was visible throughout the event.

Police disperse protesters with tear gas and stun grenades. Photo by Ben Tavener.

Police disperse protesters with tear gas and stun grenades. Photo by Ben Tavener.

The protest began peacefully at around 5pm local time, but tensions had been high from the start – with a number of masked individuals in the crowds and a number bearing anarchy symbols.

See photos from the scene

By about 6:40pm a small number of protesters began to throw rubbish bins and glass objects at police, and vandalise a number of banks and other shops – graffitiing anti-World Cup and anti-capitalist slogans.

Streets were strewn with rubbish and some protesters were seen kicking telephone booths and bus stops.

Police responded with rounds of tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowds, and also detained around 260 people in a police “kettle” – a holding area where they were then taken to local police stations for processing.

A number of journalists covering the protests were detained in the first wave of kettling – some were released after around half an hour.

Those in the police ring were told to keep their hands behind their backs and were forbidden from during their cell phones.

230 detained at World Cup protests

Police say they detained around 230 people at Saturday’s World Cup protests in São Paulo – including journalists. Photo by Ben Tavener.

After some time, both they and fellow protesters on the other side of police lines began calling for their immediate release.

Police had warned that they would pick out those likely to cause trouble and take them out of the protest in an operation using both martial art techniques and the kettling tactics.

UPDATE: All those arrested have now been released from police custody.

‘No World Cup’

Saturday’s protest, which had been organised on social media and was held under an ‘anti-World Cup’ banner, was in reality a continuation of the wave of mass protests seen in June last year, which saw over a million Brazilians take to the streets.

Protesters still have a long list of various grievances, including an end to what they see as gross public spending on international sporting events being held in Brazil to the benefit of a few, despite officials speaking regularly of the events’ legacy for the ordinary Brazilian.

The 2013 protests were initially sparked by an increase in public transport fares, and then diversifying into protests over the spending on the World Cup and Olympics, police brutality, government corruption and underfunding of public services.

Saturday’s protests, which included representation from a number of radical left-wing parties, saw placards and banners calling for an end to spending on the World Cup and corruption, and for better funding of the country’s public education and health systems.

The protests have been going on since last June, but the media stopped covering them,” 29-year-old student Thiago, from São Paulo, told Anadolu Agency.

We’re not so against the World up happening in Brazil but against the way it’s taking place. So much corruption, shameless corruption in front of our very faces.”

Twenty-four-year-old student Maria Ana, also from the city, told AA: “Things in this country only work for a very small number of élite people and all the other services for the mass are of terrible standard.”

Tonight’s protests was meant to be peaceful – we were just chanting our slogans, but the police were brutal and attacked us,” she continued.

However, despite police’s decisive response to aggression on Saturday night, their overall presence and tactics seemed to be better coordinated and restrained than in past protests covered by Anadolu.

Brazil will stage the World Cup in June and July in twelve cities around the country, all of which have seen protests at some stage since last June’s million-strong protest turnout.

Three of the twelve stadiums have yet to be delivered to FIFA despite a December deadline. Curitiba earned a last-minute reprieve last week after threats it could lose World Cup status altogether.

Story and video made for Anadolu Agency.

Brazil’s Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said on Tuesday that the country would focus efforts on tackling common crime, as opposed to larger-scale terror attacks during this year’s FIFA World Cup, which Brazil is hosting along with the Summer Olympics in 2016.

Rebelo admitted that Brazil knew less serious crime would be a possible issue for the country when it took on the responsibility of hosting the sporting mega-events:

“We [the Brazilian government] knew that we would have to live with being exposed to this risk. Not to the risk of terror attacks of a political of religious nature, which occur throughout the world,” he said, citing the Munich Massacre in which eleven Israeli players were murdered at the 1972 edition of the tournament in Germany.

The sports minister said Brazil was instead at risk of “social violence, common crime, which can be found in Brazil’s largest cities”.

Rebelo added that all football squads would receive support in terms of security, and that “additional preventative measures” would be taken to protect delegations, Brazil’s Agência Brasil news agency reported.

The comments were made as officials met in São Paulo to thrash out operational plans for the city’s hosting of the World Cup.

Officials have been quick to play down concerns of security, particularly in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro where many crimes are on the increase.

In São Paulo, the notorious PCC (First Command of the Capital) criminal gang last year said it would unleash a wave of attacks, directed against police officers, during the World Cup if its members were moved to harsher maximum security prisons – known for their severe overcrowding.

The PCC, which operates from inside Brazil’s prison system, was responsible for a wave of attacks and counterattacks on police in recent years.

At the time, Rebelo said he did not believe that the PCC would disrupt the games or target tourists.

In Rio de Janeiro, a programme of so-called “pacification” has had some success in driving violent drug- and arms-trafficking gangs from slum areas, known as favelas.

Police forces implementing the policy – which has now installed some 36 police stations, known as UPPs, in favela communities – started with favelas close to areas frequented by tourists or located near venues of upcoming sporting events.

The policy was broadly praised, although criminals ended up being flushed from slum to slum, and some pacified areas have reportedly silently fallen back into the control of gangs.

And even where pacification has been largely successful, crime is still common, particularly given the fact that the areas often border more upmarket neighbourhoods, especially in the city’s Zona Sul region.

Crime experts in Brazil say that tourists are very rarely the victims of the worst types of crime, such as murders, and are far more likely to fall foul of pickpockets and muggers.

They underline that more often it is the poorer members of the community that bear the brunt of serious violence. Police have been widely criticised for the number of deaths of innocent residents during operations in favelas.

Police and security officials acknowledge the shortcomings of the pacification policy and certain police operations, but argue they are training police as fast as possible with the resources available.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo today admitted that there would inevitably be issues involving some tourists, and that it was a risk Brazil always knew it had to take.

However, in the run-up to last year’s World Cup prélude, the Confederations Cup, concern was expressed not with regard to the level of petty crime in host cities, but because of the wave of mass anti-government protests, which spread across the country taking Brazil’s authorities by surprise.

It culminated in high riot police presence in many of the host cities and tense standoffs with protesters, of which a small minority engaged in criminal activity, such as violence and vandalism.

Given the Confederations Cup was just a small-scale version of what awaits Brazil this June for the World Cup, Brazil is keen not to see similar scene in 2014. Indeed both President Dilma Rousseff and FIFA have repeatedly said that there will be no repeat of the violence seen in 2013 this year.

Edited version of article written for Anadolu Agency

The Cidade Maravilhosa, or “Marvellous City” as Rio is often called, has always been a city of enormous contrasts in terms of its population. Since the days when royalty and slaves rubbed shoulders, to now, when those from the favelas – Rio’s shantytowns – head to the city’s glamorous beaches to seek the upper classes and foreign tourists in overpriced hotels, bars and restaurants to scrape together enough coins to feed their families.

(This article was written for Anadolu Agency – a link to the original post can be found here.)

Complexo do Alemão cable car. Photo by Ben Tavener.

Complexo do Alemão cable car. Photo by Ben Tavener.

In Rio, a street is sometimes all that separates the most expensive real estate in Latin America from slums home to the most deprived communities on the continent.

Since the mid-19th Century, the city’s favelas grew massively, many of them into the steep slopes of Rio’s countless hills.

Brazil’s last census revealed that the country now has 6,329 favelas nationwide, and that they are home to 11.4 million Brazilians – six percent of the population.

To this day, the slums – which are home to a fifth of Rio’s population alone – are seen by many as lawless, no-go areas and havens for traffickers smuggling mainly drugs and arms. Until not so long ago, even the police feared to enter these favelas, so fearsome the armed gangs that ruled the roost.

In 2008, less than a year after being confirmed as host for the 2014 World Cup, the authorities in Rio began “pacifying” these vast swathes of the city – meaning police forces and tactical squads went in, rooted out the gangs and took back these areas, very much by force – with many killed in the process, including many innocent favela residents.

A boy in Rio's Palmeiras favela (Complexo do Alemão). Photo by Ben Tavener.

A boy in Rio’s Palmeiras favela (Complexo do Alemão). Photo by Ben Tavener.

One of the first to undergo this process was the favelas immortalized in the famous Brazilian movie “City of God”, which was based on real events from Rio’s Cidade de Deus favela. It was only the second favela to receive a Police Pacification Unit, known locally by its Portuguese acronym – UPP.

Once pacified, the idea was to reintegrate these areas with the city, introduce “civilization” through newly-installed public services, and break down the long-established dividing lines that kept the favela populations under-developed and with little chance of improvement.

The poorest region of Rio

In 2011, police went into one of the biggest and most complicated areas they had had to pacify to date – a great swathe of favelas in Rio’s North Zone known as the Complexo do Alemão, long considered one of the most violent parts of Rio, which is also blighted by malnutrition, disease and, as a result, high rates of infant mortality.

As the areas were cleared of gangs, a major breakthrough for the area’s outward integration came in the guise of a cable car uniting the hilltops of a string of favelas, following by the inauguration of a series of UPPs.

Daily life in Itareré favela (Complexo do Alemão). Photo by Ben Tavener.

Daily life in Itareré favela (Complexo do Alemão). Photo by Ben Tavener.

Two years after that initial battle between the area’s ruling gangs and police, the cable car is well used (it’s free for residents) and has allowed tourism to come to the area for the first time. Those whose houses were destroyed during its construction have been moved into low-cost housing.

Sailing high above the rooftops, the view from pods allows passengers to look directly into the lives of those living in the favelas below: children flying kites, sellers putting out their goods, old men playing cards in the street, teenagers riding two to a bike, and women hanging out close to dry in the fierce Rio sunshine.

However, leaving the cable car and entering the winding pathways that lead through Itareré, the smell of human waste, stagnant water and weeks of piled-up refuse hits you – wave after wave.

The people are welcoming, but many bear the signs that only basic health and sanitation services are available.

Rio guide Fábio Mendonça highlights parts of the favela that have seen steps taken to bring in public services, security and a sense of urban “normality” into the area for the first time.

Community centres have sprung up to give children activities for when they are not in school, which typically only give classes for three or four hours a day. Children are allowed to draw and paint, as well as being engaged in more dynamic activities – samba, circus tricks, dance and capoeira.

Rubber bullets for some, real ones for others

The favelas are one area that has seen improvements in Brazil – with lives being changed, albeit slowly for some, and new facilities are being brought in.

Views from Itareré favela (Complexo do Alemão). Photo by Ben Tavener.

Views from Itareré favela (Complexo do Alemão). Photo by Ben Tavener.

High streets banks have shown their confidence in the areas now by moving in and opening their doors. Things are tangibly better, Mendonça explains, but there remains much to be done – particularly with schools, and although there is now a police presence in the favelas, residents are still highly suspicious of their new guardians.

And with just cause, it would seem. Last week, an operation by military police in the Maré favela left at least nine people dead.

Human rights activists say tens of thousands of people have been killed by police in Rio, who they say often act with impunity and in cahoots with the criminals. One NGO in the Maré favela – Redes da Maré – questioned why rubber bullets had been used on protesters in upmarket areas of Rio, and real ones in the favelas.

The incident happened at the height of the recent mass protests. Protesters had already taken up the favela residents’ cause after a series of enforced evictions, but soon turned their attention to the case in Maré, accusing police of opening fire on innocent people – an accusation leveled time and time again.

Brazil’s recent protests, although predominantly attended by the country’s “middle class”, have sought to highlight the major social injustices ongoing in Latin America’s biggest country and most successful economy, and the plight of many of the country’s poorest people.

Although years of work, particularly by the leftist Workers’ Party of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his protégé, the incumbent president Dilma Rousseff, have given rise to social programs that have lifted 35-40 million Brazilians out of extreme poverty, the 2011 census showed 16.2 million Brazilians remain officially below the breadline, and recent World Bank data showed 10.8 percent of the country’s population live on less than US$2 a day.

Brazil’s new middle class?

Headlines about Brazil’s “booming middle class” also need a crucial footnote, as this percentile of the population is not the same as might be understood in North America or Western Europe.

The term is used in a broad sense, and its lowest rung, the so-called “Class C”, earns just US$790 a month – enough to pay a modest rent, just about feed the family and perhaps make a payment on a TV or domestic appliance bought in ten installments – purchases which the government tout as signs of the country’s economic emergence.

One major difference between the wider middle class and the “Class C” is that this lower middle class cannot afford to bypass the country’s poor public services and pay for private education and health services.

Despite Brazil’s recent economic success – driven by booming commodity exports and consumer spending – and successive governments’ bold social welfare programs, a cooling-off of the economy has left many people dissatisfied as, while incomes improved, public services did not.

At the heart of the problem, many feel, is the political apparatus – a multitude of ministries (39 at the last count, compared to the fifteen used to run the United States) and a long list of self-serving and corrupt politicians coupled together has meant that not enough of the R$611 billion (US$274 billion) spent on running the country – excluding investments – has actually reached to its final destination, instead going on administration and entitlements.

The result is that Brazil invests far less directly into its public services than any other major economy.

When taking into account the US$25 billion that Brazil is spending on hosting the World Cup and the Olympics, justified by promises of improvements to public services, infrastructure and urban mobility, the reasons why so many people have taken to the streets in the past month becomes all too clear.

Instead of those brought out of poverty in the football-mad country heading to their nearest Confederations Cup stadium to watch top-flight matches, many instead decided to voice their dismay on the streets.

Few benefiting from Brazil’s marquee events

Protesters have voiced their opposition to Brazil’s hosting of the World Cup and Olympics because, despite promises of a long-lasting legacy that would improve millions of lives, only a privileged few are benefiting from the events – including corrupt politicians.

Rio’s hotels, eyeing an opportunity with the string of major events coming to the city, have profited by bumping up their prices significantly, making them the most expensive in the world in 2012.

Property prices have also expanded dramatically, given growing demand and limited space in the most sought-after areas. The latest reports show that the average square meter of real estate in Rio costs US$4,100 – five years ago, it was under US$2,000.

However, the city’s South Zone beach favourites of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon can command far higher prices – indeed the highest in the whole of Latin America. Leblon property prices have shot up to US$11,000 per square meter.

The result is that even people rich enough in the past to live in such prime locations are having to move out and find cheaper places to live.

There’s just a year to go until the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off, and Brazil is in overdrive to get everything ready, including reassuring Brazilians that their side stands a chance of at least reaching the final.

Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue towers above the Maracanã stadium, which cost over R$1 billion (US$500 million) to renovate. Photo: The Telegraph

Twelve stadiums in twelve host cities – stretching from Amazon jungle capital Manaus to the southern cowboy lands of Porto Alegre – must all be ready for kick-off on 12 June 2014 for the half a million tourists due to descend on the country.

If you’re in one of the host cities, it is pretty much impossible to miss the fact that the world’s biggest football event is headed that way, and unknown smaller cities are relishing having a global audience. Shopping centres have had emblazoned with sponsors’ slogans, such as “Tô preparado” (I’m ready).

One year out, Brazilians are, by and large, quietly excited about the World Cup’s arrival, seen as the sport’s greatest tournament coming home. But I was personally expecting more in terms of passion from the “Land of Football” – more pride, more “Go, Brazil!”.

Instead I hear many people talking about damage limitation: hopes that the country’s natural beauty, sizzling sunshine, vivid culture and infectious positivity will distract onlookers from any logistical problems that might affect the tournament.

There’s been a lot of speculation over whether the stadiums will be ready: at least one stadium (Curitiba‘s Arena da Baixada) is reportedly on course for completion in 2015 – after the World Cup has been and gone. But in truth, we can be pretty sure that Brazil will have the stadiums ready, whatever the cost and whoever gets it done.

However, less certain are the extra benefits that Brazilians were promised in exchange for multi-billion-dollar layouts on the events – the legacy of new infrastructure, security, and anti-poverty social programs – used to justify hosting the event, which many Brazilians feel “isn’t for us, it’s for the gringos (Western foreigners).”

Some 101 projects were promised, but at least 14 aren’t happening at all: the fabled World Cup “legacy” has yet to materialise in many places and has been severely or completely cut in others, with accusations of embezzled funds and other associated scandals (although this is something Brazilians are pretty much used to).

All this has conspired to create a growing proportion of the population questioning whether, at R$31 billion and rising, Brazil can really afford to host the World Cup, particularly given the state of its economy, which has sunk from the dizzy heights of 7.5% GDP growth in 2010 to just 0.9% in 2012.

“I’m against it being here,” says one of my Brazilians friends. “They’ve promised a lot but who knows whether it’ll be positive for Brazil or not. If it helps tourism, then fine, but imagine if things go wrong… and are we really benefiting from it?”

A less sceptical friend says, “I can’t wait for it to come here and I’ll be proud to be Brazilians when it does. Whatever happens, it’ll be great.”

Are Brazilians losing both patience and interest with their national side, the Seleção? Photo by Matt Niner (ilovebrazilnews.com)

Are Brazilians losing both patience and interest with their national side, the Seleção? Photo by Matt Niner (ilovebrazilnews.com)

Sentiment towards the Cup would probably be rosier if Brazilians thought they were going to be led to a stunning victory.

But despite being a land of football fanatics and historical World Cup champions, with five wins to their name and the most goals scored, Brazilians don’t appear to be holding their breath for a Brazil win.

Although spirits were raised slightly after Brazil recently thrashed France 3:0 in a friendly ahead of the Confederations Games – the prelude competition to the World Cup, which starts this weekend (with Brazil as reigning champions), the national side, the Seleção, has disappointed in recent times and, despite many promising individual talents on the field, Brazilians are losing interest in their squad.

This turns up the heat on Brazil coach Luiz “Felipão” Scolari, who will certainly be looking to put on a good show in the run-up to the big event next year, otherwise the current lacklustre feeling among Brazilians for their home side might well last all the way to the World Cup.

And of course, Brazilians are also desperate not to see a repeat of the last time the tournament was held here, in 1950, when they were defeated by neighbours Uruguay in a bitterly-fought final. The pain of that day, even for young Brazilians who weren’t there, is still raw.

The final point we should probably consider is this: however Brazil performs at the World Cup will also determine expectations for the next big event on the country’s calendar, the Olympics in 2016.


This is the full, unedited English version of a blog written for the BBC Russian Service

The Brazilian government has announced that the application process for work visas to Brazil has been simplified significantly in response to demands from industry, calling for more qualified overseas workers to fill gaps in the Brazilian labour market.

Brazilian visa. Photo by Ben Tavener.

The process for applying for a work visa to Brazil should now be quicker and require fewer documents. Photo by Ben Tavener.

The government says it hopes that regular work visas, which currently take around three months to be issued, will take just 30 days.

The new rules, published under Normative Resolution (RN) 104, aim to speed up the process by requiring fewer documents and allowing documents to be sent online.

Industry and foreign workers have long complained that the process for granting a work visa was too long and overly complicated, requiring some fifteen documents and sometimes a number of visits to the Consulate; just three documents will now be required.

The government admits the new rules were a direct response to demands by industry, which struggles with Brazil’s lack of specifically qualified workers – particularly engineers, oil and gas experts, and systems analysts – to help ready the country host the World Cup and the Olympics.

Two other recent changes in work visas should also prove interesting to companies in Brazil and foreign students:

Resolution RN 100 provides a work visa of up to ninety days to foreign nationals providing technical assistance or technological know-how to Brazilian companies. Applicants go straight to their local Consulate, without the need for a permit from the Ministry for Labour and Employment (MTE).

Resolution RN 103 allows students with a Master’s degree or above to work up to ninety days in Brazil during their vacations. This work still requires MTE authorisation, but is expected to be popular with temporary jobs appearing for highly-qualified professionals for the World Cup and the Olympics.

Despite past concerns that Brazil should not encourage foreigners to work in Brazil but instead focus on improving the quality of homegrown professionals, Brazil’s Minister for Labour and Employment, Manoel Dias, says that boosting worker numbers from abroad would not take jobs from Brazilians.

Read the full article on The Rio Times website.

Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue in Rio. Photo by Ben Tavener.

With the FIFA Confederations Cup and World Youth Day (WYD 2013) set to arrive in Rio, the city has seen pacification operations in favelas at the base of Corcovado Mountain.

Rio’s 33rd Police Pacification Unit (UPP) will establish a permanent presence in the area and should improve security not only for local residents, but for tourists visiting the world-famous Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue.

On Monday, 420 special forces and military police, including elite BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalion) tactical teams, entered three favelas under Corcovado, site of the thirty-meter-tall Christ statue.

Police say they occupied the Cosme Velho communities of Cerro-Corá, Guararapes and Vila Cândido quickly with no gunfire or arrests. The new UPP, with 190 military police, should be operational within a month.

Rio Governor Sérgio Cabral said the communities would no longer become a refuge for criminals and that the new UPP would “offer security and peace to residents.”

Police had monitored Cosme Velho for information about traffickers and other criminals that had been flushed there from previously-pacified favelas.

Cosme Velho is the location of the Trem do Corcovado (Corcovado Train), which takes tourists to Christ the Redeemer, and military police were at pains to show that the occupation would afford tourists visiting the statue greater safety, particularly during WYD on July 23rd-28th when Catholics from around the world will gather.

“The Pope’s visit and the increased influx of tourists are why we went in. Intelligence showed that criminals were sheltering here. Now they’ve lost the territory,” military police spokesperson Col Frederico Caldas said.

WYD 2013 will be the first major overseas mission for Pope Francis; it is the first time the event has been held in Brazil and only the second time in Latin America. Special police training exercises have been staged to represent a number of scenarios, including the well-trodden tourist route to see the statue.

Read the full article on The Rio Times website.

Leblon is most expensive place for real estate in Rio, photo by Alexander Shafir (www.shafir.info)

Leblon is most expensive place for real estate in Rio, photo by Alexander Shafir (www.shafir.info)

The rate at which average Rio property prices have risen over the past five years is four times greater than that at which average wages have gone up, according to a report by O Globo newspaper.

Industry experts say wealthy Brazilians have encouraged skyrocketing prices, which have outpaced financing options for many and exposed a widening gulf between the richest and the rest.

In January 2008, a square meter of real estate in Rio cost R$3,851 (US$1,975) on average; five years on, it costs 124.2 percent more, R$8,636 (US$4,429). In the same period, the average monthly salary in Rio has increased just 24.2 percent to R$1,902.80 (US$971), according to the IBGE.

As a comparison, online surveys show a square meter in New York City costs approximately US$14,000 (US$1,295 per square foot), with average salaries of around US$4,000.

Renting in Rio has also increased, up over 65 percent on average since 2008 – double the rate at which incomes have increased. Some rents have increased by over 230 percent in Rio’s most sought-after areas.

Industry experts say the boom in prices stems from it being undervalued in the early 2000s and that an overdue “correction upwards” was made, leading to a sharp increase in prices to the present day.

Other factors also stoked prices, including the boom of the petroleum industry, greater access to credit, political stability and a reduction in violence. But it was the prospect of hosting major international events, particularly the 2016 Olympics, that gave many the green light to seek wildly high prices for their property.

Read full article on The Rio Times website.

While Brazil has made effort to entice highly-skilled foreign workers to the country, it has a natural interest in keeping well-paid professional jobs for Brazilians.

IT consultant Leonardo Bittencourt

IT consultant Leonardo Bittencourt is part of a growing number of Brazilian workers who want to head abroad to gain experience, but then bring that experience back to Brazil.

And with the work visa process already overloaded, a new program to bring Brazilian nationals working abroad back home has gained momentum, according to a recent O Globo report.

Among the main target candidates are the many skilled Brazilian candidates currently are un- or underemployed in other countries, affected by the global economic crisis or other immigration issues.

However, many of these Brazilians are calling for improvements in wages, social services and tax rates before making the move.

It is estimated some three million Brazilians currently work abroad, although this is difficult to calculate and even harder to verify, as some work on an unofficial basis and have outstayed their visas.

A special cross-ministry commission is to be created this month to discuss with proposals. According to the President of the National Immigration Council (CNIg), Paulo Sérgio de Almeida, businesses will reap the benefits of contracting Brazilians, a far simpler process than hiring foreign nationals.

Graduates and other highly-skilled workers affected by the global crisis should be prime candidates for “repatriation,” particularly those from industries currently in such high demand in Brazil: infrastructure, logistics, oil and gas, and technology.

The lack of skilled labour in Brazil is recognized as one of the contributing factors to the so-called “Brazil cost,” which discourages greater investment in the country from overseas. Its repercussions have been felt with the array of multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects planned and underway in Brazil in the run-up to the World Cup and Olympics.

Read the full article on The Rio Times website.