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The Football World Cup, a massive event organized every four years by the International Football Association Board (FIFA), will be hosted in 12 Brazilian cities in 2014. The works that are taking place ahead of the event threaten to displace 250,000 people from their homes. Many of them have been forcibly evicted. The evictions are one of the reasons why Brazilian grassroots organizations nominated FIFA for the Public Eye Awards to the worst company of the years for its environmental and human rights abuses.
To learn more about FIFA’s actions and the resistance process in Brazil, Real World Radio interviewed Fernando Costa of Friends of the Earth Brazil, which is a member of the Coordination of Popular Committees of the Cup.
Besides the peaceful or forced evictions in different Brazilian cities, Fernando says these take place without any kind of dialogue between the state and the affected communities. This constitutes a violation of the law. “The evictions are authoritative, forced. People are not guaranteed that they will stay in the area or that they will be able to keep their job, their healthcare and education”, said Fernando.
Fernando cited increasing child sexual exploitation as one of the impacts of the organization of the World Cup.
Meanwhile, the activist said a state of emergency will be declared during the Cup, through the General Cup Act, which creates special crimes linked to the event and limits people’s right of free circulation. The social movements claim this law is unconstitutional. There are regions considered “FIFA areas”, where FIFA will have “special courts and jurisdiction”.
The economic profit that this massive event would imply for the country is being questioned because of the high level of public indebtment: “the resources being used by corporations are funded with public money”, mainly through the National Bank of
Economic and Social Development (BNDES), said Costa.
Besides, the constructors (which, do not need to submit to a call for bids as a result of a law amendment and are, therefore, being contracted based on their ‘specialization’), some of the main beneficiaries of the World Cup are big agrifood corporations. “FIFA is further promoting agribusiness”, said Fernando.
To vote for FIFA as the worst corporation of 2013, please visit the website of the Public Eye Awards: http://publiceye.ch/en/case/fifa/
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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