On top of so much remaining to be done – in case we Brazilians didn’t know, the International press are now, quite correctly, relentlessly reminding us of our shortcomings -, two extremely worrying events have happened in the last few days. 

Paulo Ricardo Gomes da Silva,  26, died when a toilet fell over him when he was leaving the Arruda Stadium, in Recife, after the match Santa Cruz x Paraná for the Serie B of the Brazilian Championship. The bathroom appliance was thrown over the grandstands while the two teams supporters clashed. The culprit, Everton Felipe Santiago de Santana, is in prison and confessed he actually thrown 2 toilets over!. The Brazilian Confederation of Football (CBF) has intervened and interdicted the Stadium.

Paulo Ricardo da Silva died in loco

Paulo Ricardo da Silva died in loco

On the other event, a SBT TV crew was surrounded by armed criminals in the slums of the Baixa do Sapateiro, in Complexo da Maré (RJ) last Friday. The journalists, who were to accompany the favela visit of the governor Luiz Fernando Pezão and the Secretary of Public Security Jose Mariano Beltrame, were approached by thugs after leaving the governor, shortly after 4pm. The members of the crew did not get physically attacked, but were forced to tell them their names and contact numbers , a kind of “intimidation register”. The bandits did not explain what they would do with the information.

I find sort of hard to believe that  when the authorities won the bids to host these amazing events they did not think that it would also highlight all that is bad, unjust and amateurish about Brazil. I think they imagined Brazil’s beautiful beaches and fun loving people would compensate for the disparity in wealth, the so apparent corruption and the lack of civility that reigns in most cities.

I still hear from my friends and work colleagues when I complain about lateness or lack of organisation. ” Com’on, Betise. You have become TOO English” . If they think I am too English, wait until the English arrive, the Germans, the French, the Japanese, the Americans…I have to stop. It is physically painful to contemplate.

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About Betise Assumpcao Head

Communicator, specialized in Media Relations, Reputation, Crisis Management, corporate or individual. I started as a Sports Journalist (7 years, Mains newspapers and magazines in Brazil) turned into World Wide Press Officer (Senna 1990/1994), been to Games in Barcelona Atlanta, London & Rio 2016. Italy, Germany & Brazilian World Cups.

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