Rio de Janeiro City Hall confirmed that this year’s Independence Day military parade on September 7 will take place in the city center, and not on a Copacabana Beach promenade as President Jair Bolsonaro announced this week.
“Rio City Hall informs that, so far, it has not received any request to change the location of the September 7 parade and, therefore, continues with providing logistical support so that the event can take place in its traditional location, Presidente Vargas Avenue,” the municipal administration told The Brazilian Report.
City officials also started a procurement process on Wednesday to assemble the event’s infrastructure for the downtown location.
Mr. Bolsonaro told supporters that this year’s parade would be on Atlântica Avenue in front of Copacabana Beach. The place is a traditional location for pro-government demonstrations.
The president has called on his sympathizers to take to the streets “for one last time” on September 7 and show that the pro-Bolsonaro has majority support — despite all electoral polls suggesting otherwise. Switching the venue to Copacabana Beach would help the far-right leader show force, with large attendance.
The Defense Ministry says there is still no final decision on the location, but reports show that the military is scrambling to accommodate the president’s wishes with just one month to prepare.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes has declared support for former President Luiz Inácio da Silva in this year’s elections. He said on Tuesday that moving the venue to Copacabana is possible, but the logistics are complex and would require planning.
While there is no final decision on the matter, supporters of Mr. Bolsonaro on social media suggested changing the location would “help tourism” in Rio, as hotels in Copacabana would be “85 percent booked” for the date. Tourism officials, however, told The Brazilian Report that no such survey has been carried out.