The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Nation & World

June 22, 2013

Brazil leader breaks silence about protests


BRASILIA, Brazil —

Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota hit back at protesters the morning after his modernist ministry building was attacked by an enraged crowd Thursday night. At one point, smoke had billowed from the building, while demonstrators shattered windows along its perimeter.

Standing before the ministry, Patriota told reporters he "was very angry" that protesters attacked a structure "that represents the search for understanding through dialogue." Patriota called for protesters "to convey their demands peacefully."

Most protesters have been peaceful, and crowds have taken to chanting "No violence! No violence!" when small groups have prepared to burn and smash. The more violent demonstrators have usually taken over once night has fallen.

At least one protester was killed in Sao Paulo state Thursday night when a driver apparently became enraged about being unable to travel along a street and rammed his car into demonstrators. News reports also said a 54-year-old cleaning woman had died Friday after inhaling tear gas the night before while taking cover in a restored trolley car.

The unrest is hitting the nation as it hosts the Confederations Cup soccer tournament, with tens of thousands of foreign visitors in attendance.

For some, the police response to the protests has been yet another reason to hit the streets.

"Even though I didn't see much of police violence on TV because the coverage was focused on the vandalism, I heard about it from friends and family," said 26-year-old journalist Marcela Barreto, who was marching in Rio Friday. "And I wanted to show the government it's not going to work. We're not scared."

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