The Most Powerful Protest Photos of 2014

There wasn't a corner of the planet untouched by protest this year, from the tear-gassed streets of Ferguson to the student camps of Hong Kong

In 2011, TIME named the Protester as the Person of the Year, in recognition of the twin people-power earthquakes of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. TIME named the Ebola Fighters as the 2014 Person of the Year, but you could have forgiven if we went back to the Protester. There wasn’t a corner of the planet untouched by protest this year, from the tear-gassed streets of Ferguson, Missouri, to the squares of Mexico City, to the impromptu student camps of Hong Kong. Many of the protests were remarkably peaceful, like Occupy Hong Kong, which was galvanized by public anger over the overreaction of the city’s police. Others turned bloody, like the Euromaidan protests in Kiev, Ukraine, which eventually brought down the government of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, in turn triggering a war that led to the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in May and the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians.

Not every protest was as effective as those that began the year in the cold of Kiev. Hong Kongers still don’t have full democratic rights, gay rights are on the retreat in much of east Africa and every day seems to bring news of another questionable police killing in the U.S. But the wave of social action that ended 2014 is unlikely to crest in 2015. The ubiquity of camera phones means no shortage of iconic photographs and videos from any protest, whether in Lima or Los Angeles, and social media gives everyone the means to broadcast. What follows are some of the most powerful images from the global streets in 2014.

TIME Crime

Alleged Brazil Serial Killer Confesses to 42 Murders

Sailson Jose das Graças told reporters that he killed for pleasure and the accompanying adrenaline rush

(RIO DE JANEIRO) — A man arrested on suspicion of murder told police he killed 42 people over the past decade, potentially making him one of the Brazil’s most prolific serial killers.

Sailson Jose das Graças, 26, told reporters at a police station in the state of Rio that he killed for pleasure and the accompanying adrenaline rush. He said his preferred victims were white females, whom he strangled. “I would wait for an opportunity to break into the house and kill,” Das Graças told reporters, adding he would often watch his victims for months before making his move. “When I didn’t do it I would get nervous…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME brazil

Brazilian Politician Tells Congresswoman She’s ‘Not Worthy’ of Sexual Assault

Brazilian Congressman Jair Bolsonaro seen in 2011 Rogério Tomaz Jr./CDHM—Flickr Creative Commons

He said it on the floor of the legislature

A Brazilian Congressman apparently told a female colleague who had allegedly called him a rapist that he wouldn’t sexually assault her but because she’s “not worthy” of it.

Representative Jair Bolsonaro reportedly made the comments on the floor of the national legislature Tuesday after lawmaker Maria do Rosário gave a speech condemning the human rights abuses of the U.S.-backed military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, a regime Bolsonaro defends, according to a translation from the Huffington Post. “Stay here, Maria do Rosário. A few days ago you called me a rapist, in the Green Room,” he said. “And I said I wouldn’t rape you because you’re not worthy of it.” The Green Room is a private room in the capitol building.

“I was attacked as a woman, as a Congress member, as a mother,” do Rosário told the Brazilian news agency O Globo. “When I go home, I have to explain this to my daughter… I’m going to press criminal charges against him.”

[Huffington Post]

TIME brazil

Brazil Confronts Horrors of the Past With Torture Report’s Release

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff cries during a speech at the launching ceremony of the National Truth Commission Report, at the Planalto Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, Dec. 10, 2014.
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff cries during a speech at the launching ceremony of the National Truth Commission Report, at the Planalto Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, Dec. 10, 2014. Eraldo Peres—AP

President Dilma Rousseff, herself a former victim of the former dictatorship's abuses, sheds tears as she unveils Truth Commission report

Brazil reacted dramatically to its most official, detailed and damning report to date on killings, torture and human rights abuses carried out by the state under two decades of military dictatorship on Wednesday.

And the reaction began at the top, as President Dilma Rousseff broke down into tears while presenting the National Truth Commission report at a ceremony in Brasília. “The work of this commission increases the possibility for Brazil to have a fully democratic future, free of authoritarian threats,” said Rousseff, who was herself imprisoned and tortured under the military leaders who ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985.

The Truth Commission has spent two years and seven months compiling its report, which contains harrowing details of tortures carried out by the military dictatorship. It detailed beatings, electric shocks, sexual violations, and psychological torture on people the state saw as a threat.

The report increased the number of those it said were killed or disappeared during the dictatorship to 434, from the previous official number of 362. It also named 377 people it said were involved in human rights abuses, of whom 196 are still alive. The names included deceased former presidents and military leaders.

The commission advocated civil, criminal and administrative judicial responsibility for the state employees who committed abuses and said the armed forces should recognize its institutional responsibility. It also called for those who had committed serious human rights abuses to face criminal prosecution, despite a 1979 Amnesty Law preventing both those who opposed the regime and those who committed abuses from being tried or punished.

Its publication was welcomed by human rights groups as a watershed moment. Amnesty International said Brazil lived a “historic day” today, while Human Rights Watch also praised the report. “For the first time there is a body in Brazil who after more than two years of work identified abusers,” said Maria Canineu, the group’s Brazil director. “The report can encourage prosecutors and also the judiciary.”

The abuses of the dictatorship touch almost every level of Brazilian society. Rousseff was herself imprisoned and tortured by the military dictatorship as a member of the armed, left-wing resistance. Although she rarely talks about it, evocative images of the young bespectacled Rousseff and state files on her were among the imagery used in her campaign for re-election, narrowly won in a second-round run-off in October.

Other surviving opponents of Brazil’s military government welcomed the report. “This commission has a fundamental role to divulge to Brazilian society what happened,” said Vera Vital Brasil, who was imprisoned and tortured with electric shocks and beatings as a student activist in 1969 in Rio de Janeiro. She later spent six years in exile and Chile and has worked as a psychologist and human rights activist since returning to Rio in groups like Torture Never Again Rio de Janeiro Group.

In September, she took part in a Truth Commission visit to the army base where she was tortured. “It had a very big impact because that place was where terrible things happened,” she said. The room she was tortured in is now a dormitory, but the base was home to the regime’s more macabre torture practices after her time there. “There were people who had a snake dangled on the body, who had an alligator put on top,” she said.

Unlike some other South American countries ruled by right-wing dictatorships, like Argentina, Brazil has never prosecuted those responsible. “We in Brazil had a very big difference to other countries of Latin America – our process of silence was very deep,” said Brasil. “We were never able to say that this is wrong, even though that have been a democratic country since 1988,” added Canineu.

But military personnel and former members of the armed forces argue that Brazil’s Amnesty Law had brought peace to the nation and should be left in place. “There was a pacification of the country,” said retired Colonel José Gobbo Ferreira, an army engineer who supported the coup in 1964—as did the United Statesand is a vocal online defender of what he calls the military ‘regime’, rather than dictatorship. “The idea was to extinguish all of this from the national memory.”

He said the Truth Commission was part of a wider left-wing conspiracy to install communism throughout the continent and argued that the report had exaggerated tortures. “It is logical that there were some abuses. But not on the scale that they are saying,” he said.

Minority elements in right-wing, anti-government demonstrations since then have even called for the return to the dictatorship. Ferreira said the Truth Commission should have also investigated bank robberies, kidnappings and murders carried out by the armed left wing groups that opposed the dictatorship.

Human Rights Watch’s Canineu agreed that crimes by the left-wing resistance could have been investigated, if only to show how much more widespread were the abuses carried out by the state. “It was important to break the myth that it was a war,” she said. “It is a very sensitive issue. They could have included it but that doesn’t make the report weaker.”

In 2010, Brazil’s Supreme Court decided the 1979 Amnesty Law remained valid. Eight months later the Inter-American Court of Human Rights disagreed arguing it contradicted the American Convention on Human Rights. Now, with a Supreme Court judge saying Wednesday that the issue will come back to the court, Rousseff’s government must decide how far it abides by the recommendations of the very Truth Commission it set up.

TIME brazil

Brazil Panel Delivers Report on Regime Brutality

(RIO DE JANEIRO) — Brazil’s National Truth Commission on Wednesday delivered a damning report on the killings, disappearances and acts of torture committed by government agents during the country’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship. It called for those responsible to face prosecution.

The 2,000-page report was delivered to President Dilma Rousseff, a former Marxist guerrilla who endured harsh torture and a long imprisonment in the early 1970s.

“Under the military dictatorship, repression and the elimination of political opposition became the policy of the state, conceived and implemented based on decisions by the president of the republic and military ministers,” the report states.

The commission “therefore totally rejects the explanation offered up until today that the serious violations of human rights constituted a few isolated acts or excesses resulting from the zeal of a few soldiers.”

Investigators spent nearly three years combing through archives, hospital and morgue records and question victims, their families as well as alleged perpetrators. The document represents Brazil’s most sweeping attempt yet to come to terms with the human rights abuses committed under the country’s military regime.

The seven-member commission, created by congress and sworn in by Rousseff in 2011, has no prosecutorial powers, and a 1979 amnesty law passed by the military regime prevents those responsible from being tried and punished. The report calls for the repeal of the amnesty.

The work exhaustively details the military’s “systematic practice” of arbitrary detentions and torture, as well as executions, forced disappearances and the hiding of bodies. It documents 191 killings and 210 disappearances committed by military authorities, as well as 33 cases of people who were disappeared and whose remains were later discovered.

“These numbers certainly don’t correspond to the total of deaths and disappearances but only to cases it was possible to prove,” the report said, citing “obstacles encountered in the investigation — especially the lack of access to armed forces’ documentation, which is officially said to have been destroyed.”

Rousseff, known for her steely demeanor, broke down during her speech at the report’s launch ceremony in the capital, Brasilia. The crowd gave her a standing ovation when she paused.

“Brazil deserves the truth. The new generations deserve the truth. And most of all, those who deserve the truth are those who lost family members, friends, companions and continue to suffer . as if they died again each and every day,” Rousseff said, halting midway through the sentence as she fought back tears.

“We, who believe in the truth, hope that this report contributes to make it so that ghosts from a sad and painful past are no longer able to find shelter in silence,” Rousseff said.

Rosa Cardosa, a Rio de Janeiro criminal lawyer and a commission member, said that meticulously documenting the military regime’s crackdown on students, labor unionists, factory workers, indigenous tribes and others labeled as subversives is crucial to healing Brazilian society.

“I think the report helps us advance, helps us move forward, helps society to understand this problem and sheds light on it,” said Cardosa, who during the regime provided legal representation for political prisoners, including Rousseff.

The document “gives voice to the victims, to the survivors and the families who were able to tell the story of those atrocities,” she said.

Brazil’s neighbors Argentina, Chile and Uruguay have been investigating crimes committed by military regimes in the same era, and top officials have been convicted and handed harsh prison sentences.

Many observers doubt the government’s political will to push for any such changes.

“There cannot be amnesty for torturers, and for them to be held accountable for their crimes the amnesty law must be rewritten or abrogated altogether,” said Elizabeth Silveira e Silva, who heads the Torture Never Again group.

Rousseff has maintained a low profile on issues related to the dictatorship. She rarely speaks about the abuses she suffered in detention, where she was bound and hung upside down, pummeled in the face and given electric shocks.

Political opponents have branded Rousseff as a “terrorist” bent on taking Brazil in a far-left political direction.

Her past, coupled with a massive kickback corruption scandal allegedly involving Rousseff’s Workers’ Party unfolding at state-run oil company Petrobras, has led many to predict that she’s unlikely to champion any change in the amnesty law.

TIME brazil

Meet the Brazilian Singer Drawing Crowds with his Stinging Social Critique

Criolo performing in London 2012.
Criolo performing in London 2012. Jeff Gilbert—LatinContent/Getty Images

The red-hot musician Criolo has captured public anger about social divisions in Brazil

When Brazilian rapper Criolo takes the stage with his live band at the cavernous Fundição Progressso concert hall in Rio de Janeiro, a mass ‘rap-along’ breaks out as 6,000 fans chant along with him, throwing up hip hop hand gestures.

But there is nothing celebratory about the lyrics they repeat word for word. Criolo delivers a stinging social critique in song and rhyme, taking in Brazil’s crippling inequality, its drug problem, its violence and the growing obsession with consumerism that came with the country’s economic development. But the message is delivered as entertainment, not lecture, because this is a show, not a political discourse.

“There is no way you can look at the Brazilian social panorama and do agreeable songs,” says Luiz Fernando Vianna, a music critic for the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper. “What Criolo manages to do is do this criticism with a little humor.”

In the late 1980s and 1990s, São Paulo’s Racionais MCs filled stadiums with an uncompromising hip hop sound. Heavily political, they operated outside Brazil’s cultural mainstream. Criolo, in contrast, has broken out and is accepted more widely in Brazil as an artist, not just a rapper catering to niche tastes.

“He constructs bridges,” says Rodrigo Savazoni, a contemporary culture researcher and writer. “It is rap with its hand outstretched.”

Stardom for Criolo, real name Kleber Cavalcante Gomes, came late. The 39-year-old had struggled for 20 years on the grassroots hip-hop scene in his home city of São Paulo when his 2011 album Nó Na Orelha (Knot in the Ear) took off. It took a more accessible approach, combining his incisive and poetic rhymes with his singing, a live band, and elements of funk, reggae and samba.

MORE: The Top 10 Best Songs of 2014

It won three awards at Brazil’s 2011 MTV Awards, including best song for ‘Não Existe Amor Em SP’ (There Is No Love In SP), a haunting lament to a vacuous, lonely metropolis. Brazilian music great Caetano Veloso appeared on stage with him to sing it.

The song connected with a wider sentiment in the city then being daubed in graffiti slogans calling for “more love.” Brazil struggles with staggering levels of violence—56,000 people were murdered in 2012 alone. “It became an alternative anthem,” says Rodrigo Savazoni.

Criolo’s new album Convoque Seu Buda (Call Your Buddha) presents a similarly-eclectic mix of styles, and has already been downloaded 250,000 since it was released for free on the internet earlier this month.

It confirms his status as a star with a wide appeal along Brazil’s segregated social pyramid, from his original fans in the low-income, densely-packed outer suburbs, or periferia, of São Paulo to inner-city bohemians.

“He reaches different social levels,” says André Ribeiro, a Criolo fan and teacher at a state school in São Paulo’s southern periferia.

Rogério Silva, a sociology professor from the Federal Institute of São Paulo, says purist hip hop fans like Criolo—whose name can be used as a pejorative term for black, or Afro-Brazilian, citizens in this Latin American nation—but can’t always understand his complex language. “He is more popular in the middle class,” he says.

Criolo’s new album includes one song, ‘Casa de Papelão’ (‘Cardboard House’), that eloquently targets a crack epidemic that has turned an entire area of São Paulo’s center into an addict city, called ‘Cracolandia’ or Crackland. A video for two rap numbers on the album—‘Duas de Cinco’ and ‘Cóccix-ência’ —presents a chilling vision of a slum, or favela of the future, in which the poverty and crime remain the same but the technology has moved on. “There is still time to avoid this happening,” Criolo told TIME.

MORE: The Top 10 Worst Songs of 2014

The favela in the video is Grajaú, the sprawling slum on São Paulo’s southern edge where Criolo used to live with his parents, immigrants from Ceará state in Brazil’s northeast, in a house piled high with books. His mother Maria Vilani runs a weekly ‘philosophy café’ discussion group and his father Cleon is a metalworker. His great-grandfather, he says, was a slave.

Criolo and his four brothers and sisters grew up at the sharp end of Brazil’s notorious unequal society, living at one point in a leaking wooden shack. He lost many friends to the violence that blights the periferia. “I have seen things I wouldn’t wish anyone to see,” he says.

Criolo discovered hip hop age at eleven, listening avidly to rappers from New York and Los Angeles

In Criolo’s view, Brazilian problems stem from its modern history—a vicious colonization in which Portuguese invaders killed and enslaved indigenous tribes, followed by centuries of slavery. “You already start like this,” he says. Later came the military dictatorship that ran Brazil for two decades until 1985.

Yet he will not comment on Brazil’s recent presidential election, which saw the incumbent Dilma Rousseff secure a second term after one of the most gripping contests in recent Brazilian history. “It becomes innocent to talk about politics when we don’t have a structure to study politics,” he says. “Those who govern us are not interested in putting certain areas in school material.”

MORE: The Top 10 Best Albums of 2014

Brazil has its own version of hip hop—a raw, electronic sound from Rio favelas called ‘funk’. In recent years São Paulo has stolen the other city’s thunder with a style dedicated to conspicuous consumption called ‘ostentation funk’.

Criolo satirizes consumerism as a panacea for social exclusion in a disco-rap duet with singer Tulipa Ruiz called ‘Cartão de Visita’ (or Business Card). “I wouldn’t say extreme riches, I would say extreme futility,” he says. It draws the biggest cheer when Tulipa Ruiz joins him onstage to sing it.

But Criolo insists he is not pessimistic, just realistic. He says the urban occupations he also raps about are an example of positive change. He played an “emotional” show for activists in the northeastern city of Recife, after an occupation in an abandoned port area being developed was violently evicted by police.

“There is something bigger than all of this. Our generation. This new young generation that is being created, with new ideas, the desire to change the world,” he says. “There is not going to be a musician who manages to write this.”

TIME Soccer

Brazilian Soccer Legend Pelé Is ‘Doing Fine’ in Hospital

Brazilian soccer legend Pele laughs during the inauguration of a refurbished soccer field at the Mineira slum in Rio de Janeiro
Brazilian soccer legend Pelé laughs during the inauguration of a refurbished soccer field at the Mineira slum in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 10, 2014 Ricardo Moraes—Reuters

The 74-year-old was receiving special care after suffering "clinical instability"

Brazilian soccer star Pelé says he is “doing fine” after he was transferred to a special care unit on Thursday for monitoring after being treated for a urinary infection.

Earlier reports indicated the three-time World Cup winner had been admitted to intensive care, but Pelé reassured fans that his condition was not serious.

“I want to take this opportunity to let you know that I am doing fine,” the 74-year-old tweeted.

The Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, said in a statement Thursday that Pelé was transferred after suffering “clinical instability,” reports the BBC.

Pelé was admitted to the hospital on Monday and diagnosed with a urinary infection. According to local media, the infection could have stemmed from a procedure to remove kidney stones, for which he was treated on Nov. 13.

TIME Environment

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon Is Easing Up

An aerial view of a tract of Amazon jungle recently cleared by loggers and farmers near the city of Novo Progresso
An aerial view of a tract of the Amazon jungle recently cleared by loggers and farmers near the Brazilian city of Novo Progresso, Pará state, on Sept. 22, 2013 © Nacho Doce / Reuters—REUTERS

In fact, it just fell to its second lowest level in 25 years

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has fallen to its second lowest level in 25 years, according to the country’s Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Teixeira said 4,848 sq km of forest were cut down between August 2013 and July 2014, compared with 5,891 sq km during the same period a year earlier, the Associated Press reports.

The drop is a surprise, since environmental groups have been warning of an increase following the adoption of a controversial 2012 bill that eases clearing restrictions for small landowners.

“The major message is O.K., is good: Brazil has been advancing,” says Marco Lentini, coordinator of the Amazon program for WWF’s Brazil branch, while cautioning: “It doesn’t mean that the deforestation issue is over.”

The Amazon rainforest, considered an essential natural defense against global warming, is gradually being razed to make way for cattle grazing, soy plantations and logging. Sixty percent of the forest is found in Brazil, which has pledged to reduce deforestation to 3,900 sq km per year by 2020.


TIME brazil

Rio Unveils 2016 Olympic Mascots

Handout shows the unnamed mascots of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games during their first appearance in Rio de Janeiro
The mascots of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games are pictured in front of the Copacabana beach during their first appearance in Rio de Janeiro, Nov.23, 2014. Brazil Olympic Committee/Reuters

The official mascots represent the wide variety of Brazilian flora and fauna

The 2016 Rio Organizing Committee revealed the official mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic games in Brazil: a yellow feline creature standing for the Olympics, and a green foliage-headed one for the Paralympics.

“The Rio 2016 mascots represent the diversity of our culture, of our people,” said Rio 2016 brand director Beth Lula on Sunday. “They represent our joy, our way of being. Both of them are magical creatures with super powers and relate naturally with the young audience, who we want to engage with our event so much.”

Both mascots are currently nameless but the Brazilian public will be asked to decide between Oba and Eba; Tiba Tuque and Esquindim; and Vinicius and Tom.


TIME brazil

Militia Slayings in Brazil Shed Fresh Light on Police Brutality

10 killed in bloody night of violence in the northern city of Belém

The killing of ten people in a northern Brazilian city last week by a militia allegedly linked to the country’s military police has raised fears of a growing problem with police violence in a country where new figures reveal 2,212 people died in confrontations with law enforcement officers last year.

Ten civilians were gunned down last Tuesday in the impoverished suburbs of Belém, a city in the Brazilian Amazon state of Pará, in a bloody night of violence that lasted until the early hours of the morning. The massacre, apparently carried out by a single gang of masked men, followed the killing of a police officer hours earlier who was accused of being involved in a “militia” – in Brazil, the term for a criminal organization that includes former and/or serving police officers.

“There is a big probability that if there was not active police involvement then there were people who already passed through the police,” said Anna Lins, a lawyer from Pará Society for the Defense of Human Rights. “It was summary execution.”

Hers is one of a coalition of human rights groups, politicians and NGOs calling for a state assembly enquiry into militias in Pará. “We do not want the police to act alone in this investigation,” said Lins.

Alexandre Ciconello, a Human Rights Advisor at Amnesty International Brazil, said there were strong indications that police were involved. “It was an orchestrated massacre to kill people,” he said.

The night of mayhem began when Antônio Figueiredo, also known as ‘Pet’, was gunned down when he arrived home in the early evening on Nov. 4. He was a corporal in the special task force, ROTAM, of the state’s military police – Brazil’s street, or ‘offensive’ police force, which works alongside its civil police, which is responsible for investigations.

Amnesty said his fellow officers used social networks to call for vengeance. “Our little brother Pet has just been assassinated,” said a Facebook message posted by Figueredo’s colleague, Sergeant Rossicley Silva. “Let’s give the response.” He blamed a war between rival gangs.

A convoy of masked men on motorbikes and in two cars later drove through the dusty, crime-ridden neighborhoods of Terra Firme and Guamá, amongst others, randomly killing residents until the early hours. Police have since opened an investigation.

Sergeant Silva later said his Facebook post had been misinterpreted. “I asked for support in the sense of combating criminality. Our objective is not revenge,” Silva said, the local Diário Online news site reported.

A spokesman for Belém’s civil police, the department which handles investigations, told TIME that Figueiredo was suspended from duty for health reasons at the time of his death, and was being investigated for two homicides.

A military police spokesperson said it wasn’t possible to confirm a connection between the killings, six of which happened near to each other and five randomly. “All the questions, analyses and conclusions relative to the case and the participation or not of military police in the events in question are being investigated and will be made public,” said the spokesperson, in an e-mail.

Pará has a murder rate of 41.7 per 100,000, according to 2012 figures from the Violence Map produced by the Latin-American Faculty of Social Sciences in Rio. The Los Angeles murder rate that same year was 7.8 per 100,000.

One Terra Firme resident, who asked not be named for security reasons, claimed Figueiredo’s militia was competing for control of the drug trade in the lawless slums where much of the killing took place. The militia also acted as a death squad, said the resident, hired by local businesses to kill drug gang members. “They are like vigilantes who kill bandits, then they become killers.”

When ‘Pet’ was killed around 7.30pm on Nov. 4, residents celebrated by launching fireworks. “Pet was accused of killing many youths, he led a death squad,” the resident said. Some locals have since been placed under witness protection.

Eliana Pereira, Pará state ombudswoman for public security and a human rights activist, said that the revenge killings in Belém would be nothing out of the ordinary for police-linked militias. “This is not the first case. There have been other massacres,” she said, citing the case of former military police officer Rosivan Moraes Almeida, sentenced to 120 years prison in October for killing six teenagers in 2011.

Rio de Janeiro has long battled a problem with militias involving former and serving police officers involved in activities like charging protection money and controlling gas supplies and cable television in poorer areas.

Amnesty International said the massacre was representative of a wider problem with police violence in Brazil. “The Brazilian police is one of the forces that kills most in the world,” said Ciconello, the Amnesty advisor.

According to annual figures to be released Nov. 11 from the Brazilian Forum of Public Security NGO, on and off-duty Brazilian police killed 11,197 people in the five years ending 2013. By comparison, the Forum said, U.S. police have killed 11,090 people in the past 30 years.

The Terra Firme resident said those who were killed in Belém, which means Bethlehem in Portuguese, included a 20-year-old man who collected the money for local minibus transports and a 16-year-old boy. “We want the state to investigate and to live in a society with social peace,” the resident said.

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