Authorities in Brazil’s third-largest metropolitan area, Belo Horizonte, expect 100,000 people to protest as the country’s national soccer team meets Uruguay tomorrow in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup.
The city will deploy 5,000 security personnel, including almost 2,000 to supervise the game, said Major Gilmar Luciano, head of the press office for the military police in Minas Gerais state, of which Belo Horizonte is the capital. The officers will be supported by 10 aircraft, with seven helicopters among them, he said.
“We have a special plan to guarantee law and order, and we will arrest anyone who engages in criminal activity,” Luciano said.
Brazil’s city and state governments and the administration of President Dilma Rousseff have been struggling to respond to a three-week wave of demonstrations sparked by a bus fare increase in Sao Paulo. The protesters have expanded their demands to include calls for less corruption and better public services. Some of the demonstrations, including one in Belo Horizonte on June 22, have taken place outside stadiums where Confederations Cup games were being played and have featured vandalism and clashes with the police.
The Confederations Cup is a warm-up for the FIFA World Cup, which will be held next year in Brazil.
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