Activists Dig Mock Graves For Brazil’s 40,000 Coronavirus Victims (Photos)

TOPLINE Activists from a Brazilian NGO dug 100 graves on a beach in Rio de Janeiro Thursday to symbolize the country’s roughly 40,000 Covid-19 victims, just for a person to knock down a number of the crosses shortly after, illustrating how divisive and politically charged the pandemic has become in Brazil.



An aerial view of symbolic graves dug into a beach Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 
GETTY IMAGES


KEY FACTS
  • Members of Rio de Paz gathered at Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach just before dawn Thursday to dig 100 shallow graves within the sand in memory of pandemic victims and to demand the national to improve.
  • But Antônio Carlos Costa, the founding father of Rio de Paz, posted on social media that fans of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro heckled activists as they dug, with one man going as far on rip the crosses out of the mock cemetery ground.
  • The pandemic has become increasingly divisive in Brazil, as Bolsonaro has seen his popularity fall though he retains the support of about 30% of Brazilians, per The Guardian.
  • Bolsonaro has consistently downplayed the threat of the virus and has repeatedly attacked social distancing measures implemented by Brazil’s state governments, calling them “poison” and saying a weakened economy could kill over the virus itself.
  • “The president has not realized that this can be one in every of the foremost dramatic crises in Brazil’s history,” Costa told Reuters. “Families are mourning thousands of dead, and there's unemployment and hunger.”
  • It’s not the primary time Bolsonaro’s fans have caused a ruckus in recent weeks, as a number of Brazil’s largest media outlets announced time period ago a media boycott of Bolsonaro’s official residence out of concern for the security of reporters following months of verbal attacks by Bolsonaro supporters.


KEY BACKGROUND

Brazil counted over 772,000 total confirmed Covid-19 cases on Thursday, and almost 40,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins University, making it the country with the foremost cases after the U.S. and therefore the third most deaths, after the U.S. and the U.K.

Activists from the Brazilian NGO Rio de Paz dug graves in Copacabana Thursday. AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Activists from the Brazilian NGO Rio de Paz dug graves in Copacabana Thursday.

 
AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Volunteers dug 100 shallow graves symbolizing the COVID-19 deaths in the country.

Volunteers dug 100 shallow graves symbolizing the COVID-19 deaths in the country. 

GETTY IMAGES

Some of the graves were flanked with Brazilian flags.

Some of the graves were flanked with Brazilian flags.

 
GETTY IMAGES

The graves were dug in the memory of victims of the virus and to protest against Brazil's "bad ....
AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

The dig was organized by activists part of the Brazilian NGO Rio de Paz, or Peace Rio in English.

The dig was organized by activists part of the Brazilian NGO Rio de Paz, or Peace Rio in English.

 
AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Some of the protesters wore protective gear as they dug. GETTY IMAGES

Some of the protesters wore protective gear as they dug.

 
GETTY IMAGES

Protesters used the dig to call for transparency and an attitude change from President Jair Bolsonaro's government. GETTY IMAGES