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    Posted June 14, 2013 by
    phillipviana
    Location
    São Paulo, Brazil
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Protests break out in Brazil

    More from phillipviana

    What's REALLY behind the Brazilian riots?

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter phillipviana was at the protests that took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil's, city center on June 13. While there, he used his iPhone to photograph demonstrators holding up signs in protest. He says originally the protests were sparked by fare increases that are being set in place for Brazil's public transportation. 'Protesters want the public transport fares to remain the same. A minority of protesters -- and that includes the leaders -- want the public transport to be completely free. But most people are motivated by issues other than public transport as well,' he explained. He saw police turn violent against protesters, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse them. CNN also reported similar accounts of protesters and police clashing because of demonstrations against bus fare increases.

    But he says fare increases are just one of the many problems that are facing Brazil right now. In his opinion as a life-long resident of the region, he says infrastructure as well as other social issues are not being address in the country. 'Brazilians want to put a stop to the various problems that exist in the country. We see no reason to have such bad infrastructure when there is so much wealth that is so highly taxed... Some Brazilians are revolting against the fact that so much money is being spent on the World Cup whilst our education and health systems are of so poor quality,' he explained. 'I see the protests as a way to fight for other important causes,' he said.

    In the iReport text below, phillipviana reflects some personal thoughts about the state of Brazil's government. Some of his claims on the state of Brazil's government have not been confirmed by CNN.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    Leer en Español: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-989192

     

    The protests that have been occurring in Brazil go beyond the R$0,20 (US$0.10) raise in public transport fares.

     

    Brazil is currently experiencing a widespread collapse of its infrastructure. There are problems with ports, airports, public transport, health and education. Brazil is not a poor country and the tax rates are extremely high. Brazilians see no reason to have such bad infrastructure when there is so much wealth that is so highly taxed. In the state capitals people spend up to four hours per day in traffic, either in their cars or on crowded public transport which is of very poor quality.

     

    The Brazilian government has taken remedial measures to control inflation by cutting taxes and has not yet realized that the paradigm must shift to an infrastructure-focused approach. At the same time the Brazilian government is reproducing on a small scale what Argentina did some years ago: avoiding austerity and preventing the increase in the benchmark Selic base interest rate, which is leading to high inflation and low growth.

     

    Other than the problem of infrastructure, there are several corruption scandals which remain without trial, and the cases being judged have been tending to end with the acquittal of the defendants. The biggest corruption scandal in Brazilian history finally ended with the conviction of the defendants and now the government is trying to reverse the trial by using maneuvers through unbelievable constitutional amendments: one, the PEC 37, which will annihilate the investigative powers of the prosecutors of the public ministry (the Brazilian equivalent of the District Attorneys), delegating the responsibility of investigation entirely to the Federal Police. Moreover, another proposal seeks to subject decisions of the Brazilian Supreme Court to the Congress - a complete violation of the three powers.

     

    Those are, in fact, the revolts of Brazilians.

     

    The protests are not mere isolated, unionized movements or extreme left riots, as some of the Brazilian press says. It is not a teenage rebellion. It is the uprising of the most intellectualized portion of society who wants to put a stop to these Brazilian issues. The young national mid-class, which has always been unsatisfied with the political oblivion, has now "awaken" - in the words of the protesters.

     

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