Copacabana beach celebrates the new year with fireworks

Rio’s Copacabana beach celebrates the new year with fireworks. IMAGES

Revellers take part in the annual Zombie Walk in Rio de Janeiro

Hundreds of people participate in the annual Zombie Walk at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil Might Elect An Ultra-Right Wing Former Military Man For President (HBO)

RIO DE JANEIRO — On a recent Sunday morning, a few hundred shirtless men wearing camo pants tucked into army boots got together to run in formation down the beach to Copacabana.

As they ran, with tourists and Brazilians alike gawking from the sand, they yelled “Cazuca,” the name of a young army sergeant killed in February during an armed robbery in western Rio.

Marcelo Soares Corrêa, a retired paratrooper and congressional candidate, led the men — all active or retired members of Brazil’s armed forces — in an anti-communist call-and-response: “Our flag will never be red!”

Corrêa is one of nearly 100 military veterans seeking office in Sunday’s national elections in Brazil. Nearly all of them are aligned with Jair Bolsonaro, the ultra-right wing, authoritarian presidential frontrunner famous for a long history of sexist, racist, and homophobic remarks. And like Bolsonaro, military candidates such as Corrêa say their hardline approach is needed to eradicate the twin problems afflicting Brazil: rampant political corruption and violent crime.

“The only good criminal is a dead criminal,” Corrêa told VICE News. “If you let the armed forces really get to work, they will completely eliminate the crime that has taken over the country.”

This turn toward militarism is raising alarms in a country that emerged only 33 years ago from a military dictatorship notorious for torturing, disappearing, and exiling its opponents. Yet rather than run away from Brazil’s ugly past, Bolsonaro and his allies have appropriated it as a symbol of better days. On the campaign trail, these soldiers-turned-politicians routinely and explicitly praise the military regime. Bolsonaro counts as a personal hero Colonel Carlos Brilhante Ustra, who was found by Brazil’s National Truth Commission to have supervised the torture of more than 500 people during military rule.

Though Brazil has always had ultra-nationalist hardliners, what makes this year’s election different is that their rhetoric has much broader appeal.

“This nostalgia for military order is a response to both political corruption and urban violence,” said Bryan McCann, a historian at Georgetown University. “But it’s completely misplaced. The dictatorship was characterized by widespread corruption, and military enforcement, where it’s been tested within Brazil, has not been a successful constraint on urban violence.”

To many observers, Bolsonaro’s rise, whether he prevails in Sunday’s election or not, represents a deeper threat to a democracy made already fragile by a corrupt political establishment. Some even fear an outright military takeover — a possibility that, although unlikely, is not unreasonable: Bolsonaro’s vice-presidential running mate, a retired army general named Antonio Hamilton Mourão, has on at least two occasions said that a coup may be the only solution to Brazil’s problems.

In an interview with VICE News, Mourão insisted that he didn’t think a coup was necessary at this moment. But he didn’t discard the possibility. “If the country is the Titanic that’s sinking, will we, the military, behave like the orchestra? Will we start playing and go down with the country?” He said. “I think not.”

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Brazilian women organise pro-Bolsonaro rally in Rio

Supporters of right-wing frontrunner in next week’s presidential elections Jair Bolsonaro participate in a pro-Bolsonaro rally in Rio’s Copacabana, as women across Brazil launched a wave of nationwide protests against him. IMAGES

Car hits crowd at Brazil’s Copacabana, killing baby

A car ploughed into a crowd on Rio de Janeiro’s tourist-packed Copacabana seaside promenade on Thursday, killing a baby and injuring 17 people, authorities said, with the driver telling investigators he suffered a seizure.

Car hits crowd at Brazil’s Copacabana

A car ploughed into a crowd on Rio de Janeiro’s tourist-packed Copacabana promenade, injuring 11 people. IMAGES

Brazil: Revellers welcome 2018 on Rio’s Copacabana beach

Millions gather on Brazil’s Copacabana beach to welcome 2018 in sultry conditions. IMAGES of the fireworks

Rio de Janeiro: New Year fireworks display at Copacabana beach

Thousands gathered in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the new year with a fireworks display at Copacabana beach

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Fireworks over Copacabana beach during NYE party

One of the first cities in the Americas to welcome 2017 was Rio de Janeiro, where crowds gathered for the annual New Year’s Eve party on Copacabana Beach, which provided a perfect view of the city’s fireworks display.

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VICE News Daily: Brazilians Call For President Rousseff’s Resignation

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Iraq’s former prime minister is indicted, India’s disputed Kashmir border heats up, South Korea marks 70 years since the end of World War Two, and Brazil’s president refuses to resign.

IRAQ
Parliament Indicts Top Officials For Fall of Mosul
Nouri al-Maliki was indicted for his role in the Islamic State’s capture of the country’s second largest city.

INDIA
Renewed Fighting Along Disputed Kashmir Border
Shelling in the highly militarized region has lasted for more than a week.

SOUTH KOREA
Mass Anti-War Rally Held in Seoul
Some protesters also marked the end of Japan’s rule over Korea by burning effigies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

BRAZIL
Protesters Rally Nationwide Against Government
Thousands marched along Copacabana beach calling for the resignation of President Dilma Rousseff.

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