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Domestic Problems Arise As Brazil Prepares For World Cup, Summer Olympics

Greg Asciutto |
December 3, 2012 | 9:03 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium (Creative Commons)
Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium (Creative Commons)

With only months remaining before the FIFA Confederations Cup kicks off in Brazil, organizers and officials in Rio de Janeiro are battling domestic disturbances as they prepare their city to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games. 

For the second time in three weeks, hundreds of protesters gathered near the Estadio Maracana on Saturday to voice their displeasure toward the pending privatization of the historic stadium. 

The Maracana, originally built to host the 1950 World Cup, is set to be sold by the Rio state government after current renovations are completed, according to the BBC.

Those in opposition of the sale say the stadium belongs to the people of Rio and that related construction will have disastrous consequences for the local indigenous population. 

According to the Associated Press, the city plans to demolish Maracana's neighboring indigenous museum, the Museu Do Índio, as well as a public school and surrounding athletic facilities.  

Two appeals to prevent the museum's demolition were denied earlier this month, according to the BBC.

"This is very sad, it is like . . . they're killing our culture," Garapira Pataxo, an indigenous occupant of the Maracana region, told Venezuelan television network TeleSur. "I feel like a dead Indian." 

According to the TeleSur report, "around 30,000 people will be evicted by the works of the World Cup and Olympics in the city."

Renovations upon the stadium began in August 2010 and are currently behind schedule, though Maracana is expected to be ready for the start of the Confederations Cup next June. 


Reach Staff Reporter Greg Asciutto here, or follow him on Twitter.



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