News / Americas

Transit Fee Hikes in Brazil Scrapped Amid Volatile Protests

A protester jumps over a subway turnstile during a protest demanding improvements be made to the public transport system, at the bus station in the centre of Brasilia, June 19, 2013.
A protester jumps over a subway turnstile during a protest demanding improvements be made to the public transport system, at the bus station in the centre of Brasilia, June 19, 2013.
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VOA News
Leaders in two of Brazil's biggest cities have scrapped plans to increase public transportation fees, which triggered massive anti-government protests throughout the South American nation.

Officials in both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro announced their decisions Wednesday to revert back to the previous fares. Several other Brazilian cities had already canceled plans to increase transit fees.

Despite the reversals, protests continued across parts of Brazil Wednesday. Riot police clashed with several hundred protesters in the city of Niteroi as they tried to block a bridge that links Niteroi with Rio de Janiero.

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The protests have evolved into anger over the government's lavish spending on new stadiums to host this month's Confederations Cup football tournament and next year's World Cup, while public services go neglected and official corruption runs rampant.

Many of the protesters belong to Brazil's growing middle class.

The Confederations Cup began June 15 and lasts two weeks.

  • A man stands between bonfires lit by demonstrators as they clashed with police during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 20, 2013.
  • Demonstrators take over one side of the Rodovia Dutra, one of the country's main highways, during a protest in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, June 20, 2013.
  • A riot police officer fires his weapon while confronting stone-throwing demonstrators during an anti-government protest in Belem, at the mouth of the Amazon River, Brazil, June 20, 2013.
  • A woman walks past demonstrators detained for vandalism, as policemen stand guard, Recife City, Brazil, June 20, 2013.
  • Students, and members of the "Free Pass" movement, take part in a protest demanding improvements be made to the public transport system, at the bus station in the center of Brasilia, Brazil, June 19, 2013.
  • Brazilian police shoot tear gas at demonstrators during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro's sister city, Niteroi, June 19, 2013.
  • Riot police aim their weapons at protesters near Castelao stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil, June 19, 2013.
  • Demonstrators run during clashes with riot police near the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, June 19, 2013.
  • Demonstrators tear down a traffic light during clashes with riot police near the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, June 19, 2013.
  • Demonstrators run after setting a vehicle on fire in Fortaleza, Brazil, June 19, 2013.
  • Demonstrators attack a vehicle belonging to the municipal government's traffic police during protests in Fortaleza, Brazil, June 19, 2013.

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