Rio de Janeiro- “Well, this is awkward.”
This was the official statement issued by Operadores de ônibus associação do Brasil (Bus Operators Association of Brazil) in response to Monday and Tuesday’s country-wide protests against the government. The protests began initially as a response to increased bus fares by the Brazilian government but has since bloomed into protests targeting government corruption and lack of proper healthcare and infrastructure systems.
The 20 cent hike in bus fares was in fact proposed by the association itself. “Yeah, we actually asked the government to increase the bus fare, because of…inflation you know,” said Don Carvahol, a 40-year old public bus driver in Rio de Janeiro, who also happens to have a wife and two young children. “A lot of us have kids, and everything’s really expensive nowadays, you know? So we figured we’d increase prices so we could have more money to buy food and send our kids to school and stuff.”
“We feel really bad that we started all of this. Please don’t come after us.”