Brazil World Cup protests: National security force deployed to ensure Confederations Cup is not disrupted

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Security increased at cities hosting major football tournament as violent protests spread

Rio de Janeiro

A national security force will be deployed to five of Brazil’s major cities to ensure the Confederations Cup football tournament is not disrupted by the widespread protests that have swept the country.

A quarter of a million demonstrators are believed to have taken part in demonstrations in dozens of cities, which began against bus fare increases but ballooned to include many popular grievances.

Among the concerns is the lack of investment in public services when set against the billions being spent on next year’s World Cup, political corruption and police brutality in putting down the protests.

The national force, which is used to quell social unrest, will be sent to Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Fortaleza and Brasilia, all cities that are hosting matches in the Confederations Cup. The eight-team tournament, in which the champions of each continent compete against each other, is traditionally seen as a warm-up for next year’s World Cup.

In a statement, the Ministry of Justice said: “The officers will strengthen security at the Confederations Cup games, as planned in the security plan for large events.”

More than 60 people were arrested after the sixth night of largely peaceful protests drew an estimated 50,000 demonstrators to Sao Paulo on Tuesday.

Police were forced to take shelter inside the office of Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad as a crowd gathered outside, throwing stones and trying to break into the building.

Since the protests began earlier this month, police have used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, which have also targeted the National Congress in the capital Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro’s legislative assembly. But in recent days they have taken a less aggressive approach.

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff – herself a former leftist rebel who was tortured by Brazil’s military regime –and her staff were again facing a balancing act in how to respond.

Her chief of staff, Gilberto Carvalho, told a congressional hearing: “It would be pretentious to say we understand what’s going on. If we are not sensitive we’ll be caught on the wrong side of history.”

In a statement on her blog, the President herself said: “The voices of the street want more citizenship, health, transport, opportunities. My government wants to broaden access to education and health, understands that the demands of the people change.”

MS Rousseff – who faces re-election next year – is also said to have met with her predecessor and political mentor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the governors of major states.

More protests were expected to take place today with the movement organising a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro while Spain play Tahiti at the city’s Maracana stadium.

Meanwhile, at least seven cities have announced their intention to lower the 20-centavos (six pence) rise in bus fares, which initially sparked the protests.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor