Indigenous Activists, Police Clash in Brazil Over Shrinking Lands in Face of World Cup

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With the World Cup only a couple of weeks away, tensions in host cities across Brazil continue to run high.
And yesterday, they boiled over again in Brasilia, the country’s capital.

A group of almost 1000 furious indigenous activists in traditional headdress organized a protest there against legislation that threatens to shrink the size of land reserved for native groups. Standing right in front of Brazil’s Presidency office–the Palacio do Planalto–groups from different tribes came together armed with bows and arrows in order to demand better treatment. Thousands joined the demonstration to take a stand about the lasting ramifications of the $14 billion World Cup.

Mounted policemen with batons in hand used tear gas in an attempt to stop the riot. Four people were detained during the clash and one officer needed surgery to extract an arrow from his leg.

The violence also resulted in the cancellation of a ceremony to open the exhibition of the World Cup trophy. The tournament will, of course, go on–as will likely continued demonstrations against it.

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