Sunday 20 June 2021

Rio de Janeiro Carnival Begins With Bolsonaro Backlash

Rio de Janeiro’s world-famous Carnival officially began with street parties and revelry Friday amid expectations the first such celebration since Jair Bolsonaro took office would target the far-right president known for offending the LGBT community and minorities.

Revellers take part in the annual block party known as “Carmelitas,” during carnival festivities in Rio de Janeiro, March 1, 2019.

At Carmelitas, one of Rio’s most traditional street parties, revelers sang along to a samba song titled: “Blue or pink, it’s all the same,” a reference to Bolsonaro’s human rights minister, Damares Alves, who declared: “It’s a new era in Brazil, boys wear blue and girls wear pink,” soon after she became minister.

- Advertisement -

“This parade is an act of resistance to the oppressive new government,” said Monica Machado, a percussion player in the band.

The song’s lyrics went, “On the train of history, we can’t go in reverse,” a reference to the Brazilian president’s open admiration of Brazil’s military dictatorship, particularly its use of torture. Bolsonaro has famously said he would rather have a dead son than a gay son and that police who kill criminals should be given medals not prison sentences.

‘Orange employees’

Several party-goers’ costumes targeted an early corruption scandal in the Bolsonaro government.

- Advertisement -

Vinicius Alves, a university student, wore all orange with a headband adorned with fake money and orange slices, a nod to the Brazilian expression “orange employee,” which refers to politicians’ use of ghost employees to launder money. Just three weeks into Bolsonaro’s government, questions were raised about suspicious payments to his son’s and wife’s bank accounts from his son’s driver, who many suspect was an “orange employee.”

“(The driver) has been called to court several times and never showed up, so I’m demanding answers this Carnival,” Alves said. “Carnival is resistance, samba is resistance. This is a party for the people by the people.”

“Carnival is a moment to protest and express your opinion without limits,” said Joao Marcos Marinho, 57, whose Carnival garb also made an “orange employee” reference.

Revellers take part in the annual block party known as “Carmelitas,” during carnival festivities in Rio de Janeiro, March 1, 2019.

He said residents of the bohemian neighborhood where the party was being held “aren’t satisfied with the government and they’re saying it this carnival.”

Parade dedicated to history

- Advertisement -

In the lead up to party, one group of revelers wrote a Carnival jingle that went viral. Its lyrics read, “Mommy, I’m going to buy a gun, Bolsonaro’s already made it easier, I’m going to shoot all the communists.”

At the official samba competition, one top samba school says its reaction to Brazil’s sharp turn to the right was a parade dedicated to untold parts of Brazil’s history.

“The Bolsonaro vote is linked to education,” explained Deivid Domenico, the co-author of the song. “The people of Brazil don’t know its history, its roots, its identity. This is why I think telling that history is important.”

Rio’s evangelical bishop-turned-mayor, Marcelo Crivella, came under fire on the party’s first day for skirting his duty to kick off the celebrations by handing over the key of the city to the king of Carnival for the third consecutive year.

Carnival King Momo Wilson Neto, center, holds a key during a ceremony marking the official start of Carnival at the Sambadrome, in Rio de Janeiro, March 1, 2019. Marcelo Crivella, mayor of Rio de Janeiro, opted again not to attend the ceremony, and in his place Rio’s Tourism President Marcelo Alves handed over a key.

Until Carnival’s start Friday, the carnival king and a cultural institution that guards the ceremonial key were left with no word from the city government if the ceremony would even happen. One hour before the event, the head of the city’s tourism board said he would participate in the ceremony. He told reporters that he would be turning in the keys to Carnival, not the keys to the city as is tradition.

“It’s very disrespectful. I’m trying to understand why they wouldn’t want to participate in this ceremony,” said Mauricio de Jesus, the president of the cultural center where the key is held.

The evangelical Crivella has made negative comments about African-rooted religions, which many Brazilians practice and have great cultural influence on Carnival celebrations.

“This is disrespectful to the black population, to the black community, to our roots,” de Jesus said.

Source: VOANews.com

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Q24N
Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

For the second consecutive year no Festival of Light, Carnaval or Tope

QCOSTARICA - The Municipality of San José announced this Wednesday that...

MOST READ

Vaccination commission endorses J & J vaccine, says no to Sinovac

QCOSTARICA - The Comisión Nacional de Vacunación y Epidemiología (CNVE)  - National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission - endorsed the use of Johnson and Johnson...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 19: only “ODDS” can circulate

Today, Saturday, June 19, only vehicles with "ODD" ending plates CAN circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save...

Informants assisted OIJ in corruption investigations, says the minister

QCOSTARICA - The investigation into alleged bribery of public officials in exchange for contracts for road works, received help from informants within the Consejo...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 15: 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate

Today, Tuesday, June 15, vehicles with plates ending 3 & 4 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

OIJ investigation into road works corruption leads to inquiries in Panama

QCOSTARICA - The prestige of the company of some of the richest men in Costa Rica hangs by a thread. For many, the MECO...

Cynthia Ann Telles named new U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - Today, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his nomination of Dr. Cynthia Ann Telles as United States ambassador to Costa Rica. According to the...

13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne

Acne is considered to be one of the most common skin ailments on the planet, with a record 60 million people being afflicted by...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 16: 5 & 6 CANNOT circulate

Today, Wednesday, June 16, vehicles with plates ending 5 & 6 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

Bribed with cars, sexual favors and money in exchange for road works contracts

QCOSTARICA - The OIJ uncovered a big pothole on Monday when it was announced that public officials had allied with construction companies that, apparently,...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.