Brazil’s swelling street rebellion claimed its second fatality in the largest and most violent 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 last night in what began as a peaceful protest. Violence later erupted with police battling mobs trying to storm the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro’s city hall.
In the northern city of Belem, a 54-year-old street cleaner died today after having a heart attack during the protests there, local health officials said. Yesterday an 18-year-old was killed when a vehicle accelerated into a crowd in the city of Ribeirao Preto, the military police said. The Free Fare Movement that helped organize protests in Sao Paulo said today it wouldn’t call new protests for now.
President Dilma Rousseff, who has been struggling to get in front of the mass movement, met 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 class. 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.