Less than an hour after the Pope’s visit to Rio, a series of small, scattered street protests broke out across the city.
There is still widespread anger over the government’s spending on the Olympics and football’s World Cup, and for some measures taken to host the pope have made matters worse.
Student Andre Ribeiro said: “The problem is the government’s spending. They’ve spent more than 50 million dollars on his visit and that’s way too much. It could have been invested in health or education. This is not a religious protest, it’s a political protest. It has nothing to do with the Pope.”
Clashes broke out when around 300 demonstrators began to hurl firebombs at riot police. Authorities responded by firing rubber bullets. Dozens of people were hurt and several arrests were made.
Despite the protests, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said there were no concerns about the Pope’s safety.