Batman Favela: Brazil protester becomes caped crusader


Evictions by the Brazilian authorities in the capital Rio de Janeiro ahead of the World Cup are being protested by many, including Batman !
Residents of a favela (shack) near Maracana stadium are being evicted as authorities clear the area and rebuild in preparations for the World cup. Among many other protestors, a 32-year-old dental technician has attracted national and international attention to the issue by dressing up as Batman.
Making regular appearances at demonstrations since mass protests broke out year in Rio de Janeiro last year; De Melo says he dresses up as Batman because the character is a symbol of the struggle against oppression.
He said he thought Brazil is a dictatorship merely posing as a democracy. The Brazilian constitution says housing, education and health are the obligation of the state and the right of the people, and that he will continue to be Batman until people get what they need.
He’s popular among demonstrators and many people have even tried to persuade him to become a politician, but he says he doesn’t want to be a part of the system he’s fighting against.
De Melo was once arrested for contravening a new law barring people wearing masks at protests. This is because many demonstrators – including those belonging to a group called the Black Bloc – were turning to violence.
Local media said de Melo had been trying to get around the law by holding up an ID card with all his details – thereby making him not anonymous.