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Rio 2016: World Cup Quieted Protests Over Social Ills In Brazil – Until Catastrophic Loss, And Aren't Going Away

Released: 6-Aug-2014 9:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Georgia State University
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Cassandra White, associate professor of anthropology at Georgia State University, is available to talk about the ongoing societal and class issues in Brazil, which ignited protests in 2013, which will not go away as the country continues preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

White's research focuses on Brazil and frequently travels to Rio de Janeiro for research in the city's favelas, and also has a long-time interest in Hansen's disease (leprosy) in Brazil -- looking at the relationship between structural inequalities, health and illness in her 2009 book, "An Uncertain Cure: Living with Leprosy in Rio de Janeiro" (Rutgers University Press).

She is currently conducting research on Brazilian immigration to the metropolitan Atlanta area.

White explained:

"During the World Cup, most Brazilians appeared to lose enthusiasm for the protest movement in support of the games and the team. A small contingent of protestors were present, along with heightened security at all the stadiums, was present throughout the Cup. After Brazil's catastrophic 7-1 loss, there seemed to be more dissatisfaction and questions like, "What was the purpose of all this spending?"

The day before the final game of the World Cup, a small group of activists (including a few university professors) were arrested and charged with planning violence for the games--yet the charges against them have come under some question in the media. Some have raised concerns that these kinds of preliminary arrests are tactics similar to those used under Brazil's military dictatorship.

The concerns that led up to the protest movement that really took off in 2013 will not disappear. Preparations for the 2016 Olympics involve further removals of people from their homes for construction of Olympic venues and associated infrastructure, more spending on the "pacification" of favela communities, and increasing crackdowns on the informal economy."

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