Police evicted two dozen Amazon natives on Friday from an old Indian museum that will be demolished to clear areas adjacent to Brazil’s legendary Maracana soccer stadium, the main venue for next year’s World Cup. Mana Rabiee reports.
Violence broke out during a stand-off between police and Brazil’s Amazon tribes in Rio Friday. It happened as police tried to evict Amazon natives living in a former Indian museum. The museum is next to the iconic Maracana stadium, the main venue when Rio hosts the 2014 World Cup. It’s scheduled for demolition to make space for construction projects ahead of the games. But Indigenous people have lived on the abandoned complex for years and have resisted its demolition. Supporters outside clashed with riot police who used teargas, pepper spray and rubber bullets. The tribes are caught in a drawn-out legal battle over the site. Tobi, an Indian chief, was angry the lawyer representing them wasn’t there to help. SOUNDBITE: Indian Chief Tobi saying (Portuguese): “The man who should be here isn’t here today. The man who robbed from us isn’t here. Where is the lawyer thief? He’s not here!” At least five people were arrested. Brazil is under pressure to have facilities for the World Cup ready in time for dress rehearsal games in June.