Brazil police force squatters from intended Olympics luxury hotel

The Guardian/AP, 04/14/2015

An operation to remove squatters from a building planned as a hotel for the 2016 Olympic games erupted into chaos on Tuesday as Brazilian police stormed in and squatters set the structure alight.

The more than 100 squatters had agreed to leave of their own accord, but as they filed out of the imposing former apartment building, police in riot gear charged, sparking pandemonium. Squatters set two fires inside the building, and firefighters battled flames as police chased some of the squatters and their supporters through the streets.

“It didn’t have to end this way; they were already leaving,” said Joao Helvecio de Carvalho, an attorney with the state public defender’s office. “The police’s use of force was disproportional … They didn’t need to act in that way.”

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