Clashes erupt between police, protesters in Brazil

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Clashes broke out in the Brazilian largest city of Sao Paulo between police and landless workers protesting against the government’s delay in the city’s housing and development projects.

Thousands of people, most of them members of the Landless Workers Movement (MST), gathered outside the Sao Paulo Municipal Council building on Tuesday. The protest turned violent when some of the demonstrators set fire to tires and trash containers and threw stones at the Council building.

Demonstrators called for the approval of the city’s new plan to create additional areas suitable for residential housing.

Police fired tear gas at the protesters and authorities temporarily blocked important avenues in Sao Paolo.

The city was the scene of another anti-World Cup protest on Tuesday, which is the sixth to be held in Brazil this year alone.

The protesters said the government has spent billions of dollars for the 2014 FIFA World Cup while the South American country is in need of social infrastructure.

Anti-World Cup sentiment has been simmering in Brazil over the past few months. Critics say the money being spent on the sports event should be invested in better health, education services, transportation, and housing for Brazilians.

Over the past week, residents of a number of Rio de Janeiro slums, Brazil’s second largest city, have also held rallies over the death of several people in shootout incidents they blame on police.

Brazil is the biggest country and economy in Latin America, but according to the World Bank, 15.9 percent of its population of 200 million lived below the poverty line in 2012. The government has executed some welfare programs to counter poverty.

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