Brazil to keep World Cup protests at bay

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm •  Published: December 4, 2013

COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) — Brazilian authorities say they've learned from demonstrations during the Confederations Cup not to let protesters get too close to stadiums at the upcoming World Cup.

Andrei Augusto Rodrigues, security head for major events at Brazil's justice ministry, acknowledged that police misjudged the threat to public safety at Rio de Janeiro in June at the final of the Confederations Cup, a World Cup warm-up.

Police under attack from violent protesters fired clouds of tear gas as the game began. Some wafted toward the Maracana Stadium, causing vendors at refreshment and souvenir stands to cough and tear up.

Protesters got within 200 (meters) yards of the stadium, packed with 70,000 spectators for the Brazil-Spain final.

Rodrigues told The Associated Press that police wouldn't repeat the same mistakes and demonstrators at the World Cup would be kept farther away. He spoke to the AP after briefing reporters at the beach resort of Costa do Sauipe, where governing body FIFA is holding the World Cup draw on Friday.

A World Cup security adviser for FIFA, Andre Pruis, said Brazilian authorities correctly handled the demonstrations and defended their crowd-control methods.

"If crowds get violent, you think water cannon is going to work?" said Pruis, who was head of security at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. "They've handled it well. I would have done the same."

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