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Brazil Carnival : Thousands of revellers brought politics to Carnival

Amid the dancing and drinking, one group wore large cardboard feet to represent the Rio de Janeiro state governor, Luiz Fernando de Souza, more popularly known as "Pezao" or "Big Foot." He was recently ordered by the courts to step down from office amid pending corruption accusations, but he has appealed.

"This is the bankruptcy of Rio. This is the end of Rio in the hands of this government. What fear. What terror. What fright," said "Pezao" reveller, Marco Antonio Oliveira. "This is a very funny criticism for the problems our city, our state is living through in health, in education, in the public services. We have a good Carnival message for the people," added his friend, Fernando Martins.

Others dressed as Brazilian President Michel Temer in various forms, including the devil. And still others carried messages for the Brazilian justice system that many see as corrupt. The name "Boitata" originates from the indigenous Brazilian language tupi-guarani, meaning "fire snake", and crowds united in a host of colourful and imaginative fancy dress costumes.

The Boitata street party, which is in its 21st edition, is traditionally seen as one of the most innovative and multicultural in Rio de Janeiro. Some 60,000 were expected to attend on Sunday. The party stretches through the streets of downtown Rio and historic Rio.

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