Protests in Brazil continue as death toll hits 6
Protests demanding better public services and an end to excessive public spending on international sporting events continued in major Brazilian cities Thursday as clashes led to six deaths.In Fortaleza, a northeastern port city, protesters and police clashed on Thursday in the vicinity of Arena Castelao Stadium, where teams from Spain and Italy battled for a place in the final match of the FIFA Confederations Cup. Seven people were reportedly injured.
It seemed to be a repeat of the day before, when more than 50,000 protesters marched on the Mineirao Stadium in the city of Belo Horizonte, where the first semifinal match, between Brazil and Uruguay, was held. Riot police threw tear gas and stink bombs at the crowd, while the protesters hurled rocks back as retaliation, Xinhua reported.
In Belo Horizonte, a young boy was killed during a skirmish after falling from an overpass on Wednesday. On the same day in Guaruja, Sao Paulo state, a 16-year-old boy on a bicycle was run over by a truck as the driver reportedly tried to avoid a crowd of protesters on a highway.
Another three protesters have been run over in the past few days, and a woman died in Belem from tear gas poisoning on June 21.
The protests, which have seen more than 1 million Brazilians take to the streets in the past few weeks, prompted President Dilma Rousseff to call for a referendum on political reforms and scared Brazilian legislators into acting on a series of bills that had been languishing in Congress for years.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives struck down a bill to restrict the public prosecutor's power to investigate and passed a bill to invest 100 percent of oil royalties in public education and healthcare.
The next day, the Senate approved a bill that makes corruption by public officials a heinous crime punishable with more severe sentences.