Thousands of people hit the streets of Brazil’s largest city of São Paulo on Wednesday following news of a public transportation price rigging cartel, adding fuel to a grassroots uprising that began in June.
On Tuesday the Brazilian state of São Paulo announced that it was suing Germany-based engineering behemoth Siemens to recover money lost during years of alleged price fixing of the city’s public transportation construction and maintenance.
Agence France-Presse reports that
Brazilian paper Folha de Sao Paulo reported that in addition to Siemens, the lawsuit alleges that CAF of Spain, Mitsui of Japan, Bombardier of Canada and Alstom of France were also involved in the cartel, according to the Associated Press.
Euronews has video of Wednesday’s protests:
Reuters adds this background:
“This is not just about bus fares any more. We pay high taxes and we are a rich country, but we can’t see this in our schools, hospitals and roads,” charged Jamaime Schmitt, a Brazilian engineer, as the wave of protests was getting underway in June.
In her post “From Lower Bus Fares to a Fair Society,” Laura Carlsen of the Americas Policy Program highlighted how the public transportation system is symbolic of the country’s inequality:
Flickr user brasildefato1 has more photos from Wednesday’s protest:
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