Brazilian citizens of all ages have been mercilessly gunned down by the police

Brazilian citizens of all ages have been mercilessly gunned down by the police

As people across the globe move to celebrate the World Cup, there are some who will not be celebrating at all.

These are the impoverished people in Brazil who have been on the receiving end of ethnic cleansing and slaughter by the thuggish police force in the country.

In a bid to try and make the country appear much more socially acceptable to the influx of oblivious visitors and dignitaries who will be flying to the country to watch the games, the Brazilian authorities have forcibly evicted thousands of people from their shanty towns and gunned down others on the streets indiscriminately.

It is estimated that at least 40,000 poor people have been gone missing from the militarized favelas; while kids were killed with impunity in the ghettos which were then occupied by the police, who, according to insiders, later bragged about the amount of people they murdered.

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Some of these atrocities have gained coverage in a documentary called ‘Civil Disobedience’, by Danish journalist and filmmaker Coletivo Vinhetando.

According to one of the eyewitnesses featured in the film: “The tournament organisers and local people with great power in the country do not want tourists or international press to see the inequalities in Brazil, so groups hire hitmen to rid the streets of homeless people.”

Over a million people all over the country were evicted from their homes for FIFA’s stadiums and parking lots.

There have been further reports of defenceless people being attacked by armed troops, evicted at gunpoint, beaten, threatened, and shot at.

Others told of how hospitals were closed down and turned into war zones, while some kids were forced into prostitution to buy crayons for school.

This was partly due to the rising costs of living in the country, which came as a direct result of the Brazilian government channelling money away from poorer communities into development projects and tourism budgets in preparation for the World Cup.

Protests against the World Cup began in Brazil last year, as a result of the government’s bid to “clean the streets”. Over 1.4 million hit the streets protesting against the sharp hikes in travel fares and living costs.

Their protests fell on deaf ears. The police responded with violence and even shot at residents who attempted to film their brutality.

Police officers clash with supporters of the native Indian community during a protest outside the Indian museum in Rio de Janeiro

They then attacked teachers when they went on strike and peacefully occupied the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro.

Unfortunately, these types of violent tactics by the police are nothing new in some of Brazil’s poorest communities, but it has been ramped up exponentially with the arrival of the World Cup.

However, it is not just the poorest people living in shanty towns in Brazil who are suffering in this way. The middle classes in Brazil have also been forced to move to areas with conditions which are far worse than the ones they have been forced to vacate.

Citizens have been forced to vacate their homes after an aggressive campaign of violence by the police

Citizens have been forced to vacate their homes after an aggressive campaign of violence by the police

In the cities which are hosting the games, the cost of living has risen, traffic jams have worsened, and a construction boom aimed at improving urban mobility has only compounded problems.

Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre are the most affected cities.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, one resident told of how families were being bribed and coerced by officials to move homes.

Marli Nascimento told the news channel: “The government didn’t want to negotiate. There was one public meeting and then the official said we had five days to leave. We were a community of mostly elderly people, and were afraid they would send the police in. Some people didn’t have a place to go.”

The irony is that Brazil has some of the most advanced urban policy legislation in the world, and is also a signatory to many international treaties that guarantee the right to adequate housing.

However, the legislation is evidently not worth the paper it is written on and the police have responded to the law by shooting at people indiscriminately.

Raquel Rolnik, the UN rapporteur on adequate housing, told Al Jazeera: “According to international norms about the right to housing, when an eviction occurs, the housing condition for the [affected] people needs to improve or at least remain the same. What we have been seeing in Brazil, in general, is conditions getting worse.”

Families have also been resettled in far away areas, with worse access to services and infrastructure than they had previously had, or receiving compensation which was far below the price of their property.

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Other citizens have been forced to pay higher rents or live with family members, due to the soaring price of property in the run-up to the World Cup.

Although the government claimed that life will get better for its citizens after the games, citizens in the country claim that whole populations of impoverished people were forcibly relocated to other more deprived areas in order to make way for business and real estate interests.

It is for this reason, that many residents in the country will not be celebrating the World Cup.

However, these developments are not just a worry for those living in Brazil. If the events continue to detriorate unchallenged, it will effectively set a precedent for all other nations holding similar events across the world.

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One Comment

  1. Pingback: Brazil Ethnic Cleanses through the World Cup* | Hwaairfan's Blog

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