RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s best samba “schools” have dotted the country’s annual carnival celebrations with a sizzling fusion of music, dance and costume, and numerous jabs to far-right president Jair Bolsonaro .
The last six of the 13 best samba schools in Rio de Janeiro went to the city’s “sambodrome”, or Sambadrome, for the second official day of festivities on Monday. Hundreds of dancers and musicians dressed in bright colors and lightly dressed marched Tuesday morning behind huge elaborate floats designed around a broad theme.
Bolsonaro, who campaigned on a law enforcement platform, lambasted Folha de S. Paulo on Tuesday for a front page photo of Jesus beaten by riot police, a scene from the famous school’s parade. Mangueira samba.
Mangueira was targeting the rise of right-wing religious fervor in Brazil and an upsurge in police violence, especially in the slums of Rio, during the first 14 months of his mandate.
Christ crucified on a chariot had bullet holes instead of lance wounds.
“They are looking for a picture in Rio to attack me,” Bolsonaro said of the photo in a video posted on social media, in which he criticized the Mangueira parade on Sunday for disrespecting religion.
Mangueira’s carnival theme song included a reply to the fact that there was “no messiah with a gun in his hand” He was referring to Bolsonaro, whose middle name is Messias and who advocates possession of more widespread firearms.
Other parades also targeted Bolsonaro.
Brazilian actor and comedian Marcelo Adnet disguised as Bolsonaro, mocking push-ups, waving and firing an imaginary pistol with his fingers, everything the former army captain did in public during his presidency.
The Sao Clemente float also displayed signs with the words “Are you okay?”, A popular phrase from Bolsonaro, and “It was Leonardo di Caprio”, a reference to Bolsonaro accusing the Hollywood actor of the Amazon forest fires Last year.
Since Bolsonaro took office in January 2019, Brazilians have been sharply divided over his reign, with supporters blaming him for a rapid drop in violent crime and an improvement in the economy. Critics, on the other hand, denounced Bolsonaro for racism, sexism and failure to protect the environment.
The costumes, floats and choreography of the Rio samba school may change, but they are still sparkling and spectacular, often taking all year and over $ 2 million to assemble.
Each year, the 13 best samba schools in Brazil parade through the Sambadrome in front of up to 90,000 inhabitants, tourists and VIPs celebrating carnival in the stadium designed by the venerable architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Report by Leonardo Benassatto and Sebastian Rocandio in Rio de Janeiro, with additional reports by Anthony Boadle; Written by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown