Pamphlet given in Florianópolis, Brazil, during the protests in June 18, 2013. (cropped) © Rachmaninoff | Wikimedia Commons
EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Brazil, June 2013, Act II

What happened in June 2013 and what will happen in June 2014

Now that 2013 is over, it seems safe to say that the major event last year in Brazil was the series of demonstrations that took place all over the country in June. What triggered the protests was a small rise in the cost of public transportation. On June 1st, fares increased R$0,20 in São Paulo city. On June 13th, a group of university students was severely beaten by the military police on Avenida Paulista. Many journalists witnessed the beating. Most protesters were injured, and two journalists almost lost their eyes. The beating was broadcast on national television and across social networks. Brazilians were appalled with police brutality in São Paulo, and thenceforth demonstrations spread throughout the nation.

Police violence has been common in Brazil for many years, and has not been a big concern for most Brazilians. One has only to think of Captain Nascimento, an unorthodox police officer played by Wagner Moura in Elite Squad, the all-time biggest box office ticket seller in Brazilian cinema. …

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