FIFA concerned over Brazil violence

Popular Rio figure shot by police close to World Cup stadium

NEWS, Projects, Brazil, World cup

FIFA says it is concerned about recent violence in Brazil less than two months before the country hosts the World Cup, but football's governing body is still confident Brazil will stage "the biggest party on Earth".

Marketing director Thierry Weil spoke after a Rio de Janeiro slum erupted in violence last Tuesday following the killing of a popular local figure.

Angry residents started fires and hurled home-made explosives and bottles onto a busy street in the city's main tourist zone.

It was the latest violence to hit one of Rio's so-called "pacified" slums - poor areas that were long controlled by drug gangs.

Police began an ambitious programme in 2008 to drive gangs from slums. The action is part of Rio's security push ahead of the World Cup.

Meanwhile residents of the Pavao-Pavaozinho "favela" slum staged a protest in the Copacabana beach neighbourhood.

Several hundred people took to the main thoroughfare of the neighbourhood in the protest. It appeared to be largely peaceful, despite reports of an initial scuffle between demonstrators and police.

The protest followed the burial of Douglas Pereira, whose shooting death sparked Tuesday's clashes between police and residents.

Rio state's top security official has acknowledged Mr Pereira may have been shot by police.

The slum is sandwiched between two of Rio's highest-rent neighbourhoods and just a few hundred yards from a key venue for the 2016 Olympics. Another young man was killed in the conflict.


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