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Thursday, 20 January, 2000, 03:12 GMT
Topless protests in Brazil

Gun-toting police descended onto Ipanema beach


The authorities in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro have dropped a ban on topless bathing following an outcry by beach-goers.


In my opinion, this will be the summer of going topless
Mayor Luiz Conde
The announcement was made after armed police were filmed at the weekend arresting one bather who refused to put on her bikini top.

The woman, 34-year-old Rosimeri Moura da Costa, was roughly pulled up and dragged across the sand to jail, setting off a ferocious tussle with the other sunbathers.


Rio is home of the "dental floss" bikini
The publicity surrounding the heavy handed police action has provoked scores of women to go topless on the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in protest.

Catholic tastes

Microscopic bikinis have long been fashionable on Brazil's beaches, but women in the world's largest Roman Catholic country have generally abstained from bare-breasted sunbathing.

Rio mayor Luiz Paulo Conde candidly declared the controversy was likely to spark a "topless summer".

"This police attitude has provoked a reaction," he told reporters. "People are going to take off the top part of their bikinis just for the challenge."

The city's Secretary of Security, Colonel Josias Quintal, has proposed to set out limited areas of beach where topless bathing would be permitted

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13 Aug 99 |  Americas
Bikini ban for Brazil's flag

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