The mass protests in June throughout Brazil were an embarrassment for the government. There is a Brazilian saying that you wash your dirty laundry in the house and suddenly the dirty laundry was out in the sunshine for the world to see. The embarrassment of the fact of the protests was compounded by the violent response by the police.
This photo (by AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) of the police using pepper spray on a woman walking with her handbag slung casually over her shoulder became a symbol of the mayhem the police themselves created.
As the protests quieted down, there was a police action in a favela and 9 residents were killed. One cop was also killed. This favela is strategically important for the World Cup and Games because it lies between the city and the airport. The all too familiar story was that the dead were drug dealers. But we’ll never know that for sure because there was no trial for the dead. The police acted as judge, jury and executioner in this country with no death penalty.
A few weeks later, Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA, commented on the protests and said, “we are convinced the government…will find the words and the actions to prevent a repeat”.
While Blatter cautioned the Brazilian government to prevent future protests, the Brazilian police did some housekeeping and killed troublemakers. Cleaning up, housekeeping, it all amounts to killing civilians. That mess of humanity, disposed of.