Brazil protest marks massacre anniversary
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Several hundred Brazilians have demonstrated to demand an end to police brutality against Afro-Brazilians and slum residents.
It comes on the 25th anniversary of what is called the “Candelaria massacre,” when police fired on homeless children and teenagers who were sleeping in front of Candelaria Church in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. Eight youths aged 11 to 19 died.
Three officers were sentenced but were later pardoned.
Acrobats led Monday’s march on stilts, wearing bloody camouflage outfits to symbolize violent tactics.
Protesters also criticized the government’s move to impose military control over policing and prisons in Rio after an especially violent Carnival season.
Jurema Werneck is Amnesty International’s executive director in Brazil. She says official data show killings by state agents have increased by 60 percent since last year.