World Cup Trophy Presentation Cancelled Due to Indian Protests

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By Christine Jane Caparras | May 30, 2014 10:06 PM EST

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals will no doubt, open with fireworks on June 12. However, less than three weeks from kickoff, different fireworks are sparking in Brazil as gas canisters and arrows fly around the new stadium in Brasilia which resulted in the cancellation of the presentation of the World Cup trophy on Tuesday.

A clash between police and indigenous protesters resulted in violence and a police officer was shot with an arrow in the leg as protesters rushed the police barricade wearing traditional Indian headdresses and costumes.

Stones, pieces of wood and tear gas canisters were being thrown back at riot police as they attempted to contain the growing mob in front of the stadium which will be one of many around the country to host FIFA World Cup Matches in a few weeks' time.

Indigenous chiefs mainly from the Amazon basin led their people in rallying for various social causes including the cost of hosting the World Cup in Brazil.

The tribal chiefs and other protesters rushed mounted police officers and peppered them with arrows. Approximately 700 police officers were deployed to form a perimeter around the stadium but they were outnumbered by the protesters who also blocked streets which led to the government plaza, where the congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court .

The protests bring together 100 ethnic groups from all over Brazil is aimed at protecting the rights of the country's aboriginal people as well as the conservation of the Amazon rain forest.

"Climbing onto the congress building was an act of bravery, it shows we're warriors who defend our rights," said Tamalui Kuikuru, an indigenous leader from the Xingu region.

They are also protesting the large sum of money that has been invested in the World Cup which they say should have been used for health care and education. .

The $11 billion budget for the tournament has sparked numerous protests in recent months against the government and particularly against Brazilian Prsident Dilma Rouseff.  The indigenous leaders found this as an opportunity to come together with other protesters who have grievances against the government .

"Before organizing the World Cup, Brazil should have thought more about health, education and housing," said Neguinho Truka, of the Truka people in the northern state of Pernambuco.

Security concerns are now being raised as Brazil braces itself to host hundreds of thousands of tourists who will be arriving to watch the games not to mention the various national teams that will be flying in.

The Indian strike is only the latest among a series of protests which have come from various sectors including Police, teachers, bus drivers and bank security guards.

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