Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): Police arrest activists just before the final game of the World Cup

On Saturday, July 12, 2014, the eve of the World Cup final, around 20 activists were arrested in Rio de Janeiro. 60 search warrants and orders for temporary detention were issued against people listed as participants in social movements. So far 20 of them have been fulfilled. Those arrested will spend 5 days in jail. The activists were taken to the Cidade da Policia (Police city) of Rio de Janeiro, a large complex of precincts created to centralize police intelligence and activity. Later, those arrested will be sent to the penitentiary complex of Bangu.

On the eve of the final match of the World Cup, when a large Não vai ter Copa (There’s Gonna Be No World Cup) protest is scheduled to take place, these prisons, without any real justification, only serve to criminalize and contain social movements. The NGO Justiça Global has made a statement: “The short-term nature of these detentions shows that their only purpose is to neutralize, suppress and intimidate those who have taken to the streets or used any other form of expression to fight for social justice.”

One of the arrestees said that, when arrested. the police seized only his mobile phone, a gas mask and a shirt from a gathering of social movements. The police started executing the search warrants at around 6:30 am. Prisoners were arriving at the Cidade da Policia by around 7:30 am. When they arrived at the station, the only prisoner who was handcuffed was a black activist.

This morning’s raids were not the only measures taken by the authorities against protest activity during the World Cup final: a force of 30,000 police was called in to serve as “security” of Maracanã Stadium; and the area around the stadium is already closed starting today. We can not continue living in this state of emergency, where people are arrested simply for exercising their right to demonstrate. This World Cup has been the World Cup of evictions, Police Pacification Units, violence and murder by the police, and the World Cup of repression against anyone who revolts against poverty, exploitation and injustice.


[Translated from]