Rio public defender criticizes Indian eviction bid

Updated: 01/14/2013 5:07 PM KSTP.com

(AP) RIO DE JANEIRO - Public defenders in Brazil are criticizing the attempted eviction of a group of indigenous people living near Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

The Indian settlement is adjacent to the legendary stadium that is being refurbished to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics and the final match of the 2014 World Cup. Officials say it must be demolished as part of the work.

The public defender’s office said Monday that the government cannot evict the group without a court order.

On Saturday, police in riot gear surrounded the settlement where indigenous people have been squatters for years on the site of an abandoned Indian museum.

The tense standoff lasted about 12 hours before the police dispersed late Saturday. They’ve not returned.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)