On Thursday, March 13, in interrogating Juliano Torres, executive-director of the Brazilian chapter of Students For Liberty (Estudantes Pela Liberdade – EPL), the Brazilian Federal Police (Polícia Federal) made sure they had all his travel records at hand to make their intimidation tactics appear even punchier.
The Federal Police has been summoning for questions (or, as they call it in their totalitarian lingo, “to provide clarifications”) several individuals seen as leaders of the protests that occurred during the FIFA Confederations Cup in June. EPL was somewhat involved in them, and their several Facebook pages helped organize demonstrations by several groups. Torres, then, was questioned about all his political and institutional involvement — having to explain even where the money for his trips abroad came from (which should remind us clearly of the real reason passports exist: Control over and surveillance of the people.)
In comparison, the middle class activists’ visits to the Federal Police looks like a stroll in the park.
With carte blanche to ramp up violence against the people, the government has felt especially free to economically exploit the people in the last few years. June’s protests, ignited by the poor condition of public transportation all over the country, are but a symptom of a larger problem. Heavy subsidies to real estate development (in reality, little more than government handouts to contractors) have made Brazil’s large cities grow even larger, making the country on of the most expensive in the world — and creating a housing bubble very similar to the American one. Urban infra-structure can’t take the shock and falls apart everywhere.
Soccer stadiums built for the World Cup are catalysts for the popular revolt, being money drains as they are, but they even hide the human tragedy of violent expropriations of thousands of families. Everything for sport, for a World Cup according to FIFA’s quality standards.
That is why it is even more painful when soccer icons like Ronaldo find it proper to act unabashedly as poster-boys for the government and state that a World Cup is made with stadiums, not hospitals. Things like that don’t allow to die the black bloc cry of There Will Be No World Cup.
Thus, Brazil nowadays is the paradise of state violence, which strengthens the caste that has power in their hands right now and insures a steady stream of money for the profiteering corporations. That is why the government is right in fearing new protests and riots come the World Cup. That is why the Federal Police will have to dig up many more international travel records.
Translations for this article:
- Spanish, Brasil Arderá de Nuevo.