Police Fire Tear Gas on Demonstrators, Brazil

Created: 2013-06-27 12:58 EST

Category: World > South America
Embed:
Police fired tear gas on demonstrators in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday (June 26) just as Brazil and Uruguay's semi-final match got underway just two kilometers (1.25 miles) away.
 
Protesters had planned the demonstration to coincide with the Confederations Cup game which kicked off at 4:00 p.m. local time (1900 GMT).
 
Many demonstrators have expressed anger over the amount spent on stadiums ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro which they say has come at the expense of public services like education and health care.
 
Belo Horizonte has been the scene of some of the largest protests and the most violent.
 
Military policeman Lieutenant Colonel Alberto Luiz said some demonstrators had ignored a perimeter he said had been previously agreed upon.
 
[Alberto Luiz, Military Police]: 
"An agreement was made yesterday that they weren't going to do this. They weren't going to invade the perimeter, but what you saw happening was precisely the following, disrespect. They don't want peace; they want a confrontation. The military police is going to guarantee the safety of those who want to demonstrate peacefully. Including those inside the Mineirao (stadium) watching the game. We have to have respect."
 
Wednesday's protest, with Brazil squaring off against Uruguay here, was expected to be the first major demonstration after a relative lull of smaller demonstrations in cities from Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Recife over the weekend and the start of this week.
 
Last Thursday (June 20) was the largest march which saw about a million people in the streets in more than 100 cities across Brazil.
 
Other protests have also been planned for the rest of the week.