A street party in Rio de Janeiro becomes the stage for some playful political messages without losing the fun, pranks, and games of carnival. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Amplifiers were set-up for some 80,000 party-goers at the Boitata street party on Sunday (February 15), which returns to the center of Rio de Janeiro to defend its title as the Best Street Party of 2014, according to Brazil´s principal newspaper O Globo. The name "Boitata" originates from the indigenous Brazilian language tupi-guarani, meaning "fire snake", and crowds united in a host of colorful and imaginative fancy dress costumes. Many also used the opportunity to stage tongue-and-cheek protests about current political issues taking place in Brazil and around the world. A group came dressed in blue as water droplets, holding signs with samba lyrics playing on the theme of the water crisis which has struck areas of Brazil in the country's worst drought in 80 years. Engineer, Roberto do Prado, called attention to the multi-billion dollar corruption scandals which have marred the state-run oil company Petrobras and the leftist Workers' Party government, forcing the company's CEO along with other directors from their posts. An unidentified reveler took a more daring stance, dressing as a suicide bomber. Another man dressed in green military overalls held a sign protesting against the U.S. embargo on Cuban trade, and calling for a more loving diplomatic approach. Some on the other hand were after love of a different sort, such as Australian tourists who dressed in women's wigs and toyed with the stereotypical image of the Brazilian body held abroad. The Boitata street party, which is in its tenth edition, is traditionally seen as one of the most innovative and multicultural in Rio de Janeiro. A host of national and international composers were invited to create samba and other diverse tracks as a soundtrack to the parading party, which set off from the Praca XV near Rio´s port at 9 AM (1100 GMT) for an eight hour trajectory.