News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 11, 2014: As Argentina not the World Cup host nation of Brazil gets ready to play in the 2014 finale on Sunday, July 13th, a Caribbean-born Kumfa priest claims Brazil’s huge loss to Germany on Tuesday is an act of God and a spiritual response to the country’s treatment of its poor.
Baba Mpho, aka Ifasola, a Brooklyn, NY priest under the African religion of kumfa, says the Brazil national team’s 1-7 loss to the Germans at the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup is payback to the government for its removal of thousands of poor and working class Brazilians, most of who are of African descent.
“The trashing that Brazil has received at the hands of the Germans is beyond the physical aspect of the game. The ancestors and the universe is responding to the prayers of all the Brazilians affected by not just the removal of space but whose claims are the billions used could have been spent on schools, hospitals and jobs,” he told News Americas Now.
“Most of the money generated from the visitors to the world cup is not trickling down to the poor while many of the street vendors were banned from selling close to the venues,” added Mpho. “Only official vendors or people authorized by FIFA can sell products around World Cup stadiums, causing local anger. There is no way President Dilma Rousseff and her government can justify spending billions to put on this grand show and the majority of its people are lacking decent care and housing.”
He also saw further significance in the number of goals scored by the German side as it trounced Brazil to move into the finals. “The number seven is a prophetic number and it reminds us of our spirituality and the relationship between tradition and religion,” said Mpho. “A great deal of African Brazilians are members of Candomblé, an African-originated or Afro-Brazilian religion, who have been protesting and calling on the creator and the ancestors for assistance in this massive injustice that has been placed upon them. 7-1 is indicative that the ancestors have heard the cries. The ancestors have answered.”
On the negative side, the number 7 in numerology and in some religions is viewed as being verbally abusive, arrogant and oblivious of the pain and suffering of others. In the run up to the World Cup, many Brazilians have utilized multiple means of social activism and organizing to ensure that their discontent with the government’s extravagance does not go unnoticed including using political graffiti to focus on the marginalization of Afro-Brazilians, police brutality and forceful evictions.
On the opening day of the Cup and at the loss of Brazil to Germany, the audience cursed the President over her handling of the World Cup preparations and popular rapper Marcelo Falcão stated: “The legacy that comes with this Cup is a very vile one…[W]e love soccer, but for the first time we have to be honest…In all reality [society] doesn’t have the necessary health, education and all it needs in terms of security and transportation, amongst other things…I am standing by the entire country who wanted something good…If it’s not good, I’m not going to [applaud].”
Brazilian government studies have shown that people who identify as black or brown make incomes that are less than half those of their white counterparts and they are much more likely to lack access to basic services like security, education, healthcare and sanitation. Additionally, 1.8 million of Brazil’s roughly 200 million people are homeless. More than 1 million are estimated to live in favelas.
On June 23, civil police officers arrested Fábio Hideki Harano, 26, and Rafael Marques Lusvarghi, 29, during a largely peaceful protest in São Paulo. Police claimed that they found a homemade explosive device in Harano’s backpack and a “bottle of yogurt that smelled heavily of gas” on Lusvarghi. Both were arrested for possessing illegal weapons, resisting arrest, conspiring to commit crimes, “inciting crime,” and “disobeying police authority.”
However, Harano’s lawyer told the media that there were no weapons in his backpack, which is consistent with an account given to Human Rights Watch by Father Julio Lancellotti, a well-known human rights advocate who was present at the time of the arrest. “I was entering the subway station when I saw two civil police officers approaching Harano and opening his backpack,” Father Lancellotti told Human Rights Watch. “They took out a gas mask and crackers, but no explosive devices.”
São Paulo authorities should conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into allegations that police planted evidence of criminal activity on two protesters who were arrested on June 23, 2014, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.