Drugs, violence and vandalism characterize homosexual parade in Sao Paulo

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Sao Paulo, May 27, 2008 / 01:11 pm (CNA).- Theft, violence, vandalism and public consumption of drugs characterized the 12th annual “Homosexual Parade”, which was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil this past weekend.

According to press reports, gay activists even attempted to occupy a space reserved for journalists due to the large crowds. One man was injured when he was hit by a parade float, and 200 people had to be treated for excessive drug and alcohol use.

Sao Paulo student Marina Gonclaves, 25, was a victim of one of the assaults. “This year the violence was worse than ever. My cell phone and my camera were stolen. There were two police officers nearby, but they never even saw what happened. I am never coming back,” she said.

According to police, more than 50 reports of robbery were filed, but only one person was detained.

The traditional gay parade is financed each year with public funds and sponsorships. The state of Sao Paulo spent some $225,000 on the parade, with the state of Petrobras donating some $100,000.

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