Protesters from two of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas took to the streets to demand investment in public services. They are calling too for the right to organise events in their neighbourhood without official authorisation. It is the latest street protest to hit the South American country.
The rally came as politicians struggled to deal with the raft of grievances behind the demos. President Dilma Rousseff has been told her proposal to hold a referendum asking Brazilians which political reforms they want is illegal.
In what is seen as a small victory for the protesters, Brazil’s Congress has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment which would have limited the power of federal prosecutors to investigate crimes.
Protester Alexa Dilan, an English woman who has lived in Brazil for four years, said: “It’s something that I’ve been dreaming of, that one day Brazilians are going to wake up and have a voice. And more people who live in a favela, they really, really need to have a voice, you know because they’ve not been used to it.”
Security was tight for the demonstration in one of the most affluent areas of Rio. There were no incidents and it passed of peacefully. The focus now turns to the city of Belo Horizonte where the national football team will meet rivals Uruguay in the Confederations Cup semi-finals.
Earlier in the week police used tear gas in the city to disperse a crowd when Mexico and Japan played here.
Ahead of the match, top Brazilian striker Fred said he believed the protesters grievances are just but appealed for calm.