Mardi Gras 2018 celebrations

Mardi Gras 2018 celebrations
Use of Blackface in Brazil Carnival Parade Sparks Debate
nRIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A series of muggings, armed robberies and confrontations during Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival celebrations are underscoring the deteriorating security situation in the city.

TV Globo on Wednesday showed videos of gunfire between rival drug gangs, teenagers punching tourists in areas usually considered relatively safe and a policeman narrowly escaping after several people attacked him in front of his home.

The 13 elite schools dancing to pulsating samba anthems in the spectacular parade over Sunday and Monday nights were assessed by a panel of 36 judges on nine criteria, ranging from the quality of the floats and costumes to the performance of the percussionists.

Use of Blackface in Brazil Carnival Parade Sparks Debate

Rio state Gov. Luiz Fernando Pezao acknowledged there weren’t enough police on hand during the first couple days of Carnival, though more than 17,000 policemen worked in Rio state each day during the festivities.

Use of Blackface in Brazil Carnival Parade Sparks Debate
Use of Blackface in Brazil Carnival Parade Sparks Debate

“We were not prepared. There was a failure on the first two days, and then we brought backup for police. I think there has been a mistake in our part,” Pezao said.

Statistics from the Friday to Tuesday bash have not yet been released. However, Pezao said the number of firearms confiscated by authorities was “incredible.”

A year after hosting the 2016 Olympics, Rio is experiencing a spike in violence. Days before Carnival, rival drug gangs closed key arteries of the city.

Adding to the air of unease, Rio is experiencing a crime wave. Authorities promised 17,000 security forces would patrol every day during Carnival celebrations, but Brazilian media reported several muggings over the weekend in the upscale neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon that are popular with tourists. Footage posted by the G1 news portal showed groups of young men chasing their victims and even beating them, sometimes in front of crowds of people.
Violence during Rio Carnival spotlights security woes
Violence during Rio Carnival spotlights security woes

Last year Rio used almost 12,000 policemen during Carnival, but it also counted on the help of 9,000 members of the country’s armed forces. This time there was no federal aid during the bash.

Politicians avoided Rio during one of the most political Carnivals in Brazil’s history, with revelers targeting Pezao, President Michel Temer and especially Mayor Marcelo Crivella, an evangelical bishop who is no fan of the party and left the city for Europe.

“I hear none of the music, really nothing, but I feel the vibrations. It’s as if there’s a force that I feel on my skin,” he said, speaking in sign language through one of TV INES’s hearing-capable interpreters.
Celebrating Carnival 2018 in style
Celebrating Carnival 2018 in style

Beija-Flor de Nilopolis won the samba-school parade title on Wednesday in Rio’s Sambadrome using corruption as a theme. One of its floats portrayed a rat below the building of state-oil Petrobras, which is at the center of a corruption scandal that has engulfed politicians across Latin America.

Its videos currently get around 10,000-13,000 individual views, with traffic rising steadily among Brazil’s estimated 10 million deaf people, organizers say. This was its first coverage of the Sambodromo festival.

Saga of Brazil’s Jewish refugees recounted in festive Carnival parade

Crowd favorite Paraiso do Tuiuti finished in a surprising second place, likely because of its political tone. The samba-school’s anti-slavery theme attacked Temer’s labor reform and the president himself. One of Tuiuti’s floats featured a vampire wearing a presidential sash.

Brazil has a long way to go in providing adequate help to the hearing impaired, said Daniela Abreu, who can hear but learned sign language from her deaf parents and works as a TV INES interpreter.

Summit host yanks Venezuela’s invitation over early election

Next week Temer, whose popularity is at single-digits, wants to push through a reform of Brazil’s pension system. Analysts have said bill is unlikely to pass with October’s presidential election approaching. The Carnival atmosphere did not help the president make his case for austerity.

Venezuela’s pro-government election officials recently announced that the presidential election will be April 22, though traditionally the vote has been held late in the year. The date was set just hours after negotiations crumbled between the government and political opposition leaders over how to conduct the election so it is free and fair.

Updated 9 hours ago Dressed-up partygoers took to the streets across Europe and the Americas to celebrate the 2018 Carnival season.

Samba-school carnival parade depicts troubled Brazil as ‘monster’

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Rio Carnival 2018 in pictures: The BEST costumes from the greatest show on earth

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