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Fri Jun 21, 2013, 10:20 AM

 

Brazilian Revolt Claims First Fatality as Violence Erupts

By Joshua Goodman, Raymond Colitt and David Biller - Jun 21, 2013
Brazil’s swelling street rebellion claimed its first life in the largest and most violent night of protests yet, as 1 million demonstrators rallied for better public services and an end to corruption.

Marches took place in hundreds of cities across Brazil in what began as a peaceful evening of protest. Violence later erupted with police battling mobs trying to storm the Foreign Relations Ministry in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro’s city hall. In the city of Ribeirao Preto, an 18-year-old was killed when a vehicle accelerated into a crowd, the military police said. The Free Fare Movement that helped organize demonstrations in Sao Paulo said today it was calling off new protests there for now.

President Dilma Rousseff, who has been struggling to get in front of the mass movement, will meet with cabinet members today to discuss emergency measures to help quell violence and prepare proposals on education, health and other demands of protesters, a government official aware of her agenda said.

The movement triggered by an increase in bus fares this month has spread amid a groundswell of discontent among Brazil’s middle classes. While faster economic growth helped lift 40 million people out of poverty over the past decade, a recent slowdown and faster inflation threaten to erode social gains.

“The people have the grit to continue,” Natalia Lustoza, a 20-year-old college student, said in Brasilia. “The protests will only end when we see politicians solving our problems.”

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-21/brazil-protests-persist-after-cities-revoke-fare-increase.html

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