Sunday 20 May 2018

In Pictures: Colourful Rio carnival takes on political tone

Some of Sunday night’s entries blasted the country’s political leadership at a moment of economic slump and political scandal.

Performers from Mangueira samba school parade during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Leo Correa/AP)
Performers from Mangueira samba school parade during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Leo Correa/AP)

By PA Reporters

An anti-establishment tone has echoed through this year’s carnival celebrations in Brazil.

Sunday night’s parade at Rio’s Sambadrome featured entries that blasted the country’s political leadership at a moment of economic slump and political scandal.

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A puppet depicting Rio mayor Marcelo Crivella, who has cut city funding for samba schools, stands on the top of a float which says 'Mayor sin is not to enjoy the Carnival' (Leo Correa/AP)
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Paraiso do Tuiuti featured plastic ducks manipulated by puppeteers, in a reference to a giant plastic duck used by conservatives to complain about Brazil's high taxes during demonstrations two years ago pushing for the impeachment of then president Dilma Rousseff (Leo Correa/AP)
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The samba parades used to be a magnet for politicians before a sprawling corruption investigation around state-run oil giant Petrobras began in 2014 (Silvia Izquierdo/AP)
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Now officeholders fear being booed and even attacked by critics during the party (Silvia Izquierdo/AP)
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Along with the Rio mayor, President Michel Temer and Rio de Janeiro state Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao were expected to skip the two-day bash at the Sambadrome (Leo Correa/AP)
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Mr Temer, whose popularity is in single digits, spent his last carnival as president with a group of 40 people on a military-guarded beach south of Rio (Leo Correa/AP)
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Mr Crivella was photographed by the newspaper O Globo at Sao Paulo's international airport near the time the parade began, while Mr Pezao's whereabouts were not disclosed (Leo Correa/AP)
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In the Sambadrome or at street parties, carnival revellers usually take the five-day extravaganza to forget everyday problems (Leo Correa/AP)
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But the political message is clearly more present this time than in recent years (Leo Correa/AP)
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Brazil is holding a presidential election in October and the results are hard to predict in a polarised society (Leo Correa/AP)
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The front-runner in opinion polls is former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but he faces a growing risk of being arrested within weeks following a corruption conviction (Leo Correa/AP)
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Mr Da Silva has also been a polarising figure at carnival, with supporters using costumes and banners criticising Brazil's judiciary in his defence and adversaries bringing dolls that feature the former president in prison clothing (Eraldo Peres/AP)
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Sao Paulo Mayor Joao Doria, who was until recently seen as a presidential hopeful, heard insults as he visited that city's sambadrome (Leo Correa/AP)
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A picture of him being snubbed by a top samba singer went viral on Brazilian social media channels Sunday (Leo Correa/AP)
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Later Mr Doria used Twitter to say he was just being polite when he tried to shake hands and take photos with singer Zeca Pagodinho, who is also a friend of Mr Da Silva's (Silvia Izquierdo/AP)
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The carnival celebrations in Rio - thought to be the world's biggest - will continue until Tuesday (Leo Correa/AP)

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