Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 18th 2013 Contents A49
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SAO PAULO --- Protesters
massed in four Brazilian cities
yesterday in what they hoped
would be their biggest demon-
strations yet against a hike in
public transport fares, stoking
fears of more clashes with police
and raising questions about secu-
rity during big events like the
current Confederations Cup and
a papal visit next month.
With the nation s reputation on
the line, authorities vowed to avoid
the sort of bloody confrontations
that shocked Sao Paulo last week.
Police commanders said publicly
they would not fire rubber bullets
during the protest or use riot police
Authorities said they would
respond with force only if pro-
testers destroyed property.
On Thursday in Sao Paulo, riot
police charged into crowds of
peaceful protesters, firing rubber
bullets and tear gas and beating
some demonstrators. Protest
organisers said more than 100 peo-
ple were hurt. Police only con-
firmed about a dozen injuries.
Police used tear gas and rubber
bullets again Sunday when several
hundred protesters marched near
Maracana stadium before a Con-
federations Cup match between
Italy and Mexico, part of an eight-
team warm-up tournament for
next year s World Cup finals in
But there were no clashes yes-
terday as thousands of people
protested before a Confederations
Cup match between Tahiti and
Nigeria in the city of Belo Hori-
zonte, where police helicopters
buzzed overhead and mounted
officers patrolled the stadium area.
Police put the number of protesters
at around 20,000, according to a
report on the G1 news Web site.
Earlier in the day, demonstrators
erected several barricades of burn-
ing tires on a nearby highway, dis-
The protests were set off by a
10-cent hike in public transport
fares, but they have clearly moved
beyond that issue to tap into wide-
spread frustration in Brazil about
a heavy tax burden, politicians
widely viewed as corrupt and woe-
ful public education, health and
Yesterday s protest in Sao Paulo
got off to a calm start late in the
day, with some demonstrators
turning out in clown costumes
complete with red rubber noses.
Samba percussion circles, including
one led by a drag queen in a blond
wig and sporting oversized dol-
lar-sign earrings, pounded out
competing rhythms as the crowd
of several hundred grew steadily
FORTALEZA --- Only one game into the Confed-
erations Cup, Brazil is already talking about a pos-
sible matchup with Spain.
A day after the Spaniards enjoyed an easy victory
over Uruguay in its opener, the Brazilian players
couldn t avoid talking about the World Cup cham-
Brazil and Spain first need to make sure they
advance to the second round of the Confederations
Cup, but Real Madrid left back Marcelo said it would
be a "great match" if the teams end up playing each
other in the World Cup warm-up competition.
Defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo, who helped
Bayern Munich eliminate Barcelona in the semifinals
of the Champions League earlier this year, even tried
to offer some tips on how to play Spain.
Brazil, which hasn t faced Spain in nearly 14 years,
opened with a convincing 3-1 win over Japan on
Saturday. Its next match is against Mexico, then it
closes Group A against Italy.
"We are not worried," Marcelo said. "We haven t
played against them in a long time, but if we have
to play them, it won t be a problem. We have to be
prepared to play everybody and it won t be different
if it s against them."
Spain is in Group B, so the teams can meet either
in a semifinal or in a final if they advance past the
group stage of the eight-nation tournament among
continental champions. Spain defeated Uruguay 2-
1 on Sunday.
"It s not like Spain has already reached the final
and is just waiting for us, the tournament has just
started," Marcelo said. "We still have to play against
Mexico and Italy. But if we do play them, I m sure
that it could be a great match."
Spain will play Tahiti on Thursday, then closes
the group against Nigeria on Sunday.
The last time Brazil and Spain met was in 1999
in a friendly in Spain that ended in a scoreless draw.
In eight matches between the countries senior squads,
Brazil have won four times and Spain two. The teams
"We are talking about two national teams with a
lot of quality," Luiz Gustavo said. "But to reach our
goal of making it to the final we need to get past
all these national teams, not only Spain."
In the Champions League, Luiz Gustavo played
twice against Barcelona, which has nine players in
the Spanish squad that is playing at the Confeder-
"There s no recipe," the 25-year-old Brazilian said
when asked about how to stop the Spaniards. "You
have to be careful and you need the entire group to
be united, motivated and committed. Spain has its
own style and we have ours. The team which does
a better job on the pitch will win."
Brazil had its first practice in the northeastern city
of Fortaleza yesterday.
The squad was greeted by nearly 8,000 fans at
the President Vargas stadium. Although the fans
were only allowed to enter the venue after the training
session was completed, they showed their support
and chanted the names of several players. The entire
team took time to greet the fans. (AP)
Brazil protesters vow to hold big demo
Brazil already has
Spain on its mind
Policemen stand guard next to protesters placed on the road in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday. Brazilian police have dispersed a small protest
against a public transport fare hike that broke out in front of Rio de
Janeiro's Maracana stadium ahead of the Mexico-Italy soccer match
during the Confederations Cup. AP PHOTO
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