More than 150 people besides 20 officers serving in the police force had to be treated for injuries following a melee let lose by a potent and deadly combination of rubber bullets, tear gas and grenades over a group of teachers protesting a change in their pensions in Rio De Janerio on Wednesday. The hospital treating the injured is said to have a situation similar to a war zone.
The amendment is to take effect on the pension received by 33,000 retirees. Till now, their pension was borne only by the state, but by virtue of the amendment, the pension is to be shared by the state and serving teachers. The amendment comes at a time when Brazil is pushing for austerity measures to escape recession.
Protestors were trying to enter a state congressional building in which legislators were supposed to vote for the promulgation of the law. Local police deployed non-lethal weapons to disperse the mob. The group of protesting teachers were held back using water canons even as they did their best to enter the Parana state congressional building. The building was demarcated by the police, but it could not stand the wrath of the mob.
The protests ended by nightfall. They were termed by Curitiba mayor Gustavo Fruet as "war without precedent". He called the protests a failure of the security services deployed by the state.
The Patana state government has come out in an open criticism of the clash between protestors and security forces. The government refuses to identify the teachers with the protestors.