By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Protests in front of Rio’s Municipal Assembly against the CPI dos Ônibus – a parliamentary commission of inquiry into city bus licenses – continued amid chaos this week as sessions tried to go on. After the protests yesterday, the CPI was suspended for 48 hours pending further decisions.
Inside the City Council protesters frequently interrupted the second CPI meeting session by shouting both in favor, and against, the CPI and especially its member composition.
After an hour of session, the confrontation between two sides turned physical when a shoe was thrown at Chiquinho Brazão (PMDB), the CPI’s embattled president.
Outside, nearly one hundred demonstrated against the CPI’s composition and against “Bus King” Jacob Barata. During lunch break a fight broke out between some protesters, and around fifteen people accused of supporting Brazão.
Protesters threw stones at their opponents, and the police had to help the fifteen to leave the area. At least ten people were arrested and the fighting interrupted traffic and local businesses for a short time.
The Assembly completed its scheduled three hours session with testimonies of municipal secretary of transportation, Carlos Roberto Osorio, the former secretary Alexandre Sansão and Helio Borges, who presided over the bidding process for the bus licenses.
However, in the afternoon, a judge ordered an interruption of the CPI for the next 48 hours to decide on an injunction by Members of the Assembly, who deemed the composition of the CPI disproportional with four of the five members stemming for the same party block.
Protesters that had camped out outside the Municipal Assembly for the last twelve days ended their occupation after a judge ordered the repossession of the site. They reportedly left peacefully.
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