Rio Carnival 2017: Rainha de Bateria Sabrina Sato Cinthia Santos Tati Minerato Rio Carnaval 2017
Rio de Janeiro Queen of Carnival 2017
Rio Carnival 2017 sees millions of revellers take to the streets – as cops clash with drug users in notorious ‘crackland’ district of Sao Paulo
The pomp and circumstance comes against a grim background of recession and crime
MILLIONS of revellers have taken to the streets of Rio de Janeiro to mark the start of Rio Carnival 2017 as police are also pictured clashing with drug users in Sao Paulo.
The “LED is My Light” party kicked off the annual festival in typically Samba style yesterday.
Traditionally the Carnival begins when the symbolic city keys to Rei Momo are handed over to the carnival king.
The country shuts down during the event, which runs until Thursday, streets empty and most businesses prepare to close.
However, there were contrasting scenes in Sao Paulo as military tactical police officers advanced on suspected drug users in the region known as “Cracolandia” – a notorious “crackland” district.
One girl was pictured crying after inhaling tear gas fired by the police.
Bystanders also helped press photographer Dario Oliveira, who was wounded during the clash.
A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said: “Levels of crime and violence are high, particularly in major cities. You should be particularly vigilant before and during the festive and Carnival periods. Bank card fraud is common.
“Crime levels are high. Violence and crime can occur anywhere and often involve firearms or other weapons.”