Widespread Brazil Protests Mark 191st Independence Day

Updated September 7, 2013, 7:10 p.m. ET

Widespread Brazil Protests Mark Independence Day

LORETTA CHAO in São Paulo and PAULO TREVISANI in Brasilia

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Dozens were arrested amid fresh protests that interrupted Independence Celebrations in Brazil’s major cities on Saturday. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff leads a parade to commemorate the 191st anniversary of the Independence Day of Brazil in Brasilia Saturday.

Demonstrators use pieces of wood to confront riot police at a protest in São Paulo Son Saturday. Police used tear gas to disperse crowds of at least hundreds of demonstrators who stormed a celebratory military parade in Rio de Janeiro and burned Brazilian flags. At least 24 people were detained by police and several were injured in the clash, but no serious injuries were reported by late afternoon. In Brasilia, 34 of about 1,000 protesters holding signs and chanting slogans demanding better public services and an end to corruption were detained. More were detained in Fortaleza, Curitiba and other cities. Thousands of marchers blocked São Paulo’s main avenue.The protests were much smaller than demonstrations that shook Brazil in June but served as a reminder that the issues that ignited the protests are being kept alive by smaller groups. About a million people participated simultaneously around the country at the peak of protests this year.

Approval ratings for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and other politicians have plummeted in the aftermath as they struggle to address numerous public complaints, including spending on the 2014 World Cup, and poor education and health services.

Ms. Rousseff appeared at the parade in Brasilia on Saturday morning waving at onlookers from an open car without incident, but people continued protesting in front of Congress after the parade ended. Hundreds attempted to enter a stadium where Brazil’s national soccer team played a friendly game against Australia but were blocked by police with tear gas.

A presidential spokesman declined to comment.

Protests in Rio de Janeiro, which will host the Olympic Games in 2016 and some World Cup games next year, have been among the biggest and most violent this year. Protesters there have called for investigations into spending on the sports stadiums and police abuse, and continued to do so on Saturday.

The dwindling numbers are frustrating some participants. One protester said the turnout was too small in the Brasilia, where just a few months ago large crowds stormed the foreign ministry. “It was a flop,” he said.

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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