The mayor of Rio de Janeiro threatens one of the most important festivals
The mayor of the city, Marcelo Crivella, is an evangelical bishop over at the Iglesia Universal de Reino de Dios Marcelo Crivella and a gospel singer. Starting next year, he will implement budget cuts for the renowned Rio de Janeiro carnival. To some, like various Samba Schools and carnival representatives, the news didn’t go over lightly.
In 2016, Marcelo Crivella won the elections and became Rio de Janeiro’s Mayor. Crivella triumphed by beating left-wing candidate Marcelo Freixo making him the first Pentecostal to govern an important Brazilian city. The bishop made his disapproval of the carnival well-known by not attending last year’s celebration.
Despite his lack of sympathy for the event, he had maintained the economic support of 2 million Brazilian reais. This money was destined to go to the schools of Samba. Interesting enough, the budget revision for next year was just announced and it stablished that each section that makes up the carnival itself will receive half of what they had been obtaining.
Crivella explained that before the economic crisis further affects Brazil, the mayor needed to redefine the city’s priorities and reduce federal and state contributions to the event, if seen necessary.
Affected by the economic crisis, the main Samba Schools in Rio de Janeiro threatened to not participate in the next carnival. With the new budget, it makes it almost impossible for them to adequately perform, they stated.
Over the last couple of decades, the carnival has become one of the biggest and well-known cultural events in Latin America. It even created an industry that provides jobs for residents, and attracts a significant number of tourists from around the globe.
Wouldn’t it be worse to end the Rio’s carnival? What will happen with its the cultural heritage? Wouldn’t it deepen the economic crisis?
LatinAmerican Post | Manuela Pulido Gutiérrez
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto