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Brazil: Rio protesters clash with police over transport fare hikes

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Brazil: Rio protesters clash with police over transport fare hikes


Hundreds of protesters in Rio de Janeiro have clashed with riot police in the city’s Central do Brazil station.

They were demonstrating against a planned 10 percent rise in transport fares.

Protesters attacked ticket machines and turnstiles while riot police responded with batons and tear gas. Rush-hour commuters were caught up in the violence, with many collapsing from the effects of the tear gas.

Friday’s march had begun peacefully in the city centre, with about 800 people demanding better public transportation, health services and education.

One of the protesters, Thai Jordao, explained why she was taking part: “The point isn’t the public transportation fare hike, if there was a public transportation fare hike and we had good health services and education you wouldn’t have this many people on the streets. On top of this you see spending with the World Cup, things that we really don’t need. We want health, education, and decent public transportation.”

Last year, protests in Sao Paulo against transport fare rises spiralled into national demonstrations against corruption and the billions of dollars being spent on Brazil’s 2014 World Cup.

The fare increases are due to come into effect on 8 February.

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