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Brazilian singer arrested after unlicensed show

A popular Brazilian singer has been arrested after playing an unlicensed, non-socially distanced concert in a school last week.

Samba star Marcelo Pires Vieira, known as Belo (‘Beautiful’), was apprehended by Brazil’s Civil Police yesterday (17 February) following the 12 February show, described by news agency EFE as a “massive concert” at a state school in Parque Uniao, a favela in the north of the city.

According to police, the show took place both without authorisation and without any preventative measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including mask wearing.

All Carnival events, parties and concerts are banned this year to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Rio de Janeiro.

The show “could only have taken place with the authorisation of the head of the gang which controls drug trafficking”

In addition to the obvious breaches of coronavirus restrictions, officers suspect the concert, held on the first night of the Rio Carnival, was organised and financed by drug traffickers operating out of the favela (slum) where it took place.

Footage from the concert, filmed by both attendees and news helicopters, was broadcast on Brazilian television, showing a large crowd at the school.

Gustavo de Mello de Castro, head of the Civil Police’s drug commissariat, ordered the arrest of four people, including Belo. According to a police statement, the show “could only have taken place with the authorisation of the head of the gang which controls drug trafficking in the region,” Luiz Moura Bargosa, who is also subject to an arrest warrant.

A statement from Belo’s publicist says the singer was hired by a production company which had promised to fulfil all health and safety protocols and secure permission to hold the event.


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