News / Americas

Plea From Brazil's President Fails to End Mass Protests

A man holds a sign that reads in Portuguese:
A man holds a sign that reads in Portuguese: "Corruption: Heinous crime," at an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 21, 2013.
VOA News

A plea for calm by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has failed to deter protesters who again took to the streets on Saturday.

Thousands of demonstrators chanted and waved banners in Belo Horizonte. Smaller rallies took place on Saturday in several other cities.

At Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach, demonstrators placed hundreds of soccer balls in the sand.

Some of the protests have targeted the billions of dollars being spent for Brazil to host next year's World Cup, this month's Confederations Cup as well as the 2016 Olympic summer games.

Saturday's demonstrations erupted in spite of President Rousseff's call, late Friday, for an end to the unrest. In a nationally televised address, she said peaceful demonstrations are what make a strong democracy, but vowed that protest-related violence would not be tolerated.

Earlier Friday, she held an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss the protests.

The emergency meeting came a day after at least one million demonstrators rallied in dozens of cities across Brazil, including Rio where police fired tear gas into a crowds of protesters.

The wave of protests was originally triggered by an increase in bus and subway fares, but protesters have since focused on what they say is the government's neglect of public services, high taxes and rampant corruption.

President Rousseff has already called off a trip to Japan planned for next week to respond to the protests, the country's biggest in two decades.

Protesters have been undeterred by the news that Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have scrapped plans to increase public transportation fees.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: alfredo ibarra from: leon Mexico
June 24, 2013 2:32 PM
people are tired of seeing politicians lining their pockets, while at the same time they, the politicians influence to protect the status quo. i am talking abou third world countries.

by: jack from: prc
June 23, 2013 1:19 AM
Brazil indeed like soccer,through allsides talks games should not be halted?serious polarization between the rich and poor isn't sports/problem.

by: DORAI RAJ L from: Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
June 23, 2013 12:01 AM
First let him cancell 'federations cup football' match, then let him announce the money wasted in expenses like foot ball, or olymbics be spent on Public Welfare like giving protection to the people, schools and hospitals. Then Brazilians would turn normal. Until then the protest would go a long way. I wish all the citizens. I respect the mandate of masses.

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