City under siege

As I lie on the bench in the bus station I can hear the explosions going off over head. If I were to stand up and walk to the window, I’d be able to look through the bars and across the river to the opposite side, to see men loading further munitions into their mortar tubes. There are drivers screeching round the cobbled streets on motorbikes and pickup trucks with propaganda messages blaring out the back.

The explosives detonate harmlessly overhead, as is more often than not the case with fireworks, although the phosphorescent colours that one normally associates with them can’t be detected in the harsh midday sun. The drivers with there propaganda messages pass by with big grins, amused by their own catchy jingle, extolling the virtues of their preferred mayoral candidate.

This is the face of democracy in Brazil, and is a scene repeated across the country in the weeks running up to the mayoral elections that each village, town and city will face in the coming months.

It all makes an amusing spectacle for the indifferent outsider, though if truth be told, judging by the responsiveness of the townspeople, they are as indifferent as we are. Alas, the world over, the messages and the method of delivery may change, but political apathy in Brazil is no different to the UK.

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