Rio de Janeiro’s mayor came in for some colorful criticism Saturday at the biggest of scores of pre-carnival street parties that took over the city.
More than 100 parties, known as “blocos,” were planned over the weekend, a week ahead of the sumptuous Sambodromo parades.
Saturday’s highlight was the Simpatia e Quase Amor, or “sympathy and almost love,” party in beachfront Ipanema, which drew tens of thousands of revelers.
One person not getting any sympathy was Mayor Marcelo Crivella, whom carnival-goers accuse of giving the annual extravaganza a cold shoulder.
The mayor, an important figure in Brazil’s growing evangelical Christian movement, has cut city funding for the carnival. Although he cites budget problems, critics say he is intolerant of the raucous partying which leads up to the Roman Catholic season of Lent.
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