Brazilian homeless man sentenced over Rio riots

Protesters in Fortaleza Many protesters said the money spent on stadiums should have been allocated to improve schools and hospitals

Related Stories

A homeless man in Brazil has been sentenced to five years in jail for his role in riots in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year.

Rafael Braga Vieira was convicted for carrying bottles containing ethanol, which can be used to produce petrol bombs.

His lawyers say he had cleaning products, and that he will appeal.

He is the first person in Brazil to be sentenced over the violence that marred the widespread protests.

Rafael Vieira, 26, was arrested outside an abandoned shop in Rio de Janeiro's city centre on 20 June, after a demonstration attended by more than 300,000 people.

As he has a criminal record for theft, the judge in Rio ruled that he would not be allowed parole.

Four other people arrested around the same time in Rio remain in jail waiting to find out whether they will be acquitted or convicted.

Black Blocs

The protests began at the end of May in Sao Paulo, against a rise in public transport fares.

But they soon spread across the country, covering a wide range of issues.

The rises in Sao Paulo and many other Brazilian cities were revoked after two weeks of protests.

But by then the demonstrators were venting their anger at corruption and the high cost of preparation for next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

They also demanded more investment in education, transport and health.

Most of the protests were largely peaceful, but were marred by outbreaks of violence and looting, spearheaded mostly by activists known as Black Blocs.

President Dilma Rousseff and the Congress reacted by approving legislation earmarking future earnings from oil revenue to improve public services.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Latin America & Caribbean stories


Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents

  • Record playing on turntableVinyl destination

    The eight tribes of people who keep buying records

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane on 19 AprilIn pictures

    Fighter jets and screaming crowds for William and Kate

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.