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Sao Paulo scene of violent clashes two weeks before World Cup opener

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Sao Paulo scene of violent clashes two weeks before World Cup opener


In just two weeks Sao Paulo will host the opening match of the World Cup.

But at present its outskirts are the sight of upheaval. Riot police have clashed with squatters in a bid to more evict more than 1,000 people who have moved on to private land.

Camped illegally in the area which is set for development, some 300 makeshift homes were located there before police moved in. Some families chose to leave peacefully, but others hurled rocks and set fire to tyres.

The police responded to hostilities with tear gas, one officer on the scene remarked: “There should be other alternatives to accomplish this task (evicting squatters). We really try to avoid hurting women and children.”

Temporary shelter has been promised for those evicted, but some were reportedly taken to hospital following the clashes.

Intended to stage Brazil at its best, World Cup costs and apparent government mismanagement have showcased growing domestic discontent.

A string of protests have come to characterise the event’s countdown.

In 2007 hosting the World Cup netted a 79 percent approval rating in Brazil, now just 48 percent agree it was a good move.

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