Rio’s samba schools denounced corruption – but they’re not on the moral high ground

beija-flor champion rio carnival samba schools parade
Samba schools didn’t pull any punches in 2018. Photo: Riotur

As usual, both tourists and members of the press were dazzled by the sumptuous parades of Rio’s 13 elite samba schools. After months of preparation, several schools performed their very best, putting up an exciting show until sunrise. On Ash Wednesday, Rio crowned a new champion, Beija-Flor, which had produced a parade highlighting some of Brazil’s most bitter realities.

The runner-up, Paraíso do Tuiuti, also went full-throttle in its political approach by depicting President Michel Temer as a vampire and those who asked for Dilma Rousseff’s 2016 impeachment as puppets manipulated by elites.

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