Monday 19 February 2018

Teenage protester dies in Brazil as a million demonstrators take to the streets

Military police detain a man during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013.
Military police detain a man during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013.

Donna Bowater

A teenager has been killed and 12 others injured as ongoing protests in Brazil turned violent after another night of demonstrations in more than 100 cities.

Police said the 18-year-old, named locally as Marcos Delefrate, died after apparently being hit by a car driven by a man who wanted to break up the protests in Riberao Preto, a city in Sao Paulo state.

The driver has not yet been arrested but police released the details of the Land Rover suspected of being involved.

A number of others who were among the 20,000-strong crowd were also taken to hospital.

A video that appeared to show the incident was posted online by witnesses, and shows a black four-by-four blocked by protesters that accelerates into the crowd.

It is the first fatality to happen during the widespread protests, which saw more than 200,000 people take to the streets on Monday.


The protests started more than a week ago, with anger directed at high transport fares and alleged corruption and the cost of next year's football World Cup.

Between 500,000 and a million people joined the demonstrations around the country on Thursday night in what began as a peaceful protest of music, chants and banners.

But in Rio de Janeiro, there were ugly scenes after many of the protesters began to leave after surrounding the City Hall.

Police responded with stun bombs and tear gas after traffic light columns were pulled down and bus stops smashed by vandals.

Fabiano Roots, one of the protesters, said: "I was near the City Hall when police started to fire tear gas bombs at the same time, in the midst of a peaceful crowd.

"We had to run to cross the streets because we were surrounded by armed police in cars and on motorbikes. Once again, it's clear there's a military dictatorship and that the police are what started the provocations." Earlier in the day, the military police and the state department for security had urged protesters to demonstrate peacefully.

Pedro Vedova, a reporter with O Globo, was injured by a rubber bullet fired by police as the security forces struggled to control the crowds, while more than 40 were injured in a confrontation with police at the university.


Officers arrested five for looting a supermarket while many banks, shops and restaurants suffered damage.


The demonstrations escalated in other cities including Porto Alegre and the capital Brasilia, where police and soldiers formed a four-deep cordon around the president's office.


At least 30 were injured after trying to break into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


President Dilma Rousseff was understood to be convening an emergency meeting with ministers to discuss the unrest.


It follows concessions by several cities on planned bus fare rises, which had initially sparked the protests.


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