No sooner than we leave, Brazil is in the midst of a country-wide protest, a social revolution of sorts.
While seemingly mundane, the protests began in Rio De Janeiro a couple nights ago in response to bus fares being raised. But the younger generations of Brazil, the college students and recently graduated, are feeling left out and forgotten about in the booming country.
Brazil as you know is on the cliff of economic progressiveness or utter recession. They’re currently hosting the Confederation’s Cup, a trial for the World Cup next summer, and the Olympics are in 2016. But, they’ve been held down by gross inflation and corruption, which most people will note, has prevented the country rich with economic resources from reaching its potential.
But despite it’s legislative and financial downsides, the country is in the public light. They don’t have a choice, they fought hard for the chance to be the world stage for two major sporting events, so now they’re stuck with it. They began building incredulously fast once the bids were in, spending billions of dollars on new stadiums and public transportation throughout the country, specifically Brazil.
But during this time period of massive spending, they have figured out ways to isolate some of the country’s most influential people. The indigenous Brazilians, whose museum was housed just outside Maracanã stadium, were forced out of their museum for expansion. And while the current government is much more democratic than the dictatorship during the 80’s, they have a tendency to spend billions of dollars for short term gain, despite the the long term consequences.
This is where the younger generation of Brazilians come into play. During my time in São Paulo, we spent a couple of hours with Brazilian graduate students, discussing life and journalism, as well as the future of our two seemingly colliding countries. At the time, they said they had little faith in their current government (sound familiar?) because of their corruption issues and restrictive policies.
Now we’re watching on CNN as thousands of Brazilians take to the streets to complain about the lack of insight they have on the closed-doored government. The scary part about this protest is, because of the ones occuring in Turkey, this is not picking up the national media’s eye as it should. And because of that, as typically happens, local governments are able to get away with more while the world’s gaze is fixed to another part of the country.
Let’s hope we don’t have that here.
About joemartin2014J-student at Arizona State University, and pursing a minor in business as well.
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