People everywhere are preparing to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. There are twelve Brazilian cities are hosting Cup matches. CCTV-Correspondent, Gerry Hadden gives us an inside look at the national issues that go beyond the Brazilian soccer field.
Due to heavy costs for the events and many stadium delays, anger has erupted in the country of Brazil. It boiled over last June, when the government tried to raise public bus fares. The issue wasn’t about the small increase of a dime. It was the dime on top of the World Cup’s record breaking price of 13 billion dollars; a number that is still rising.
Due to the tough police response of these protests, a new form of citizen journalism in Brazil has formed. Volunteers with smartphones broadcast in real time the actions that occur during protests. The best known group is Midia Ninja.
It is a national collective made up of hundreds of people. Midia Ninja volunteer, Felipe Marques says the current media model is very monopolized. He also says there is a huge gap between reality and how people actually live when it comes to the media outlets. “People feel invisible to the mainstream media, or criminalized by them. And Midia Ninja, along with other groups, is giving them a voice,” he says.
As the World Cup draws closer, many voices are getting louder, as the protests become more frequent. Felipe Marques says as the new generation, they are going to run into a lot of issues; which include militarization of the police, the control of the media, urban mobility, and the political crisis.
For Masa Tejeira, she says she’s protesting against the social problems that the World Cup brings to Brazil. “The government said it would bring development, it would bring more education, schools, money, and job opportunities. But that is not what happened. All the money is being spent on building mega stadiums,” she says.
Construction delays and wide-spread allegations of embezzlement of World Cup funds are fueling the protests. Many are asking, where are the promised benefits for ordinary Brazilians? Tejeira says her country is not a democracy. “Democracy in Brazil is only for foreigners to see.”