BRASILIA – Hundreds of indigenous people and thousands of supporters peacefully marched towards the National Mane Garrincha Stadium in protest of the upcoming World Cup in an effort to block the roads.
They were met by riot police and Military Cavalry Police of the Federal District on the afternoon of Tuesday the 27th. The demonstration, which had the support of hundreds of Indians left the Pilot Road, but was surrounded by police personnel about 100 meters from the arena to receive seven games of the World Cup 2014.
The march was peaceful, the protesters chanted slogans and carrying signs against FIFA’s World Cup until, by being surrounded by police on the horses that blocked lanes of the Monumental Axis. Riot police then responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and sound grenades.
The whole area around the stadium is isolated from nearby roads and traffic was diverted. There were reports of injuries, but no confirmed information at time of publishing.
Amid the police repression, an MP from the platoon of cavalry was struck by an arrow. The officer was treated on site by ambulance. The Indigenous man who shot the arrow was not arrested, but seized due to the fact that the law considers him untouchable. He was released after signing a statement of commitment at the station.
According to the Indigenous Missionary Council, two men were also injured by the tear gas fired by the Shock Battalion.
Target of the protesters, the National Mane Garrincha Stadium completed one year ago on 18 May. The arena replaced the old Mane Garrincha and will receive seven games of the World Cup, including the match between Brazil and Cameroon, on June 23. Work on the stadium, which cost about U.S. $1.2 billion of government coffers of the Federal District, is being questioned by the Court of DF on suspicion of overpricing.
Earlier, other indigenous groups staged a protest near the National Congress asking about legislation before congress that threatens to shrink the size of some reserves for indigenous groups.