RIO DE JANEIRO — As the truncheon blows rained down on Vinicius Duarte, the 26-year-old university student tried to engage the police officers who continued beating him on the floor.
All he could hear were voices pleading with them to stop, as he suffered bruises and red welts across his face with every strike.
But the scene inside the Linson Hotel in São Paulo, where anti–World Cup protesters were taking refuge last weekend, was already out of control.
“If it was not me, it would have been someone else, because they’ve got a predisposition to violence,” Duarte, an industrial chemistry student, said after the demonstration. “It’s never happened to me directly before, but I’ve witnessed other people in the protests get the same savagery from the police.”
Photo: Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images