Thousands of demonstrators from different religions took part Sunday in a march for peace and against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Faced with mounting pressure over his country's atomic ambitions, Ahmadinejad left on a five nation tour Sunday, in a bid to boost ties with Latin America's biggest economy and a rare backer of Tehran's nuclear program.
The Iranian president was expected to arrive in Brazil's capital, Brasilia, on Monday for a meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The protestors included members of pro-Israel organizations, Jewish groups, anti-racism organizations, organizations for the rights of homosexuals, evangelists and even environment activists.
Israeli and gay pride flags against Ahmadinejad (Photo: Reuters)
One of the protestors said, "Brazil means diversity, peace, tolerance and coexistence between human beings. Ahmadinejad's arrival in this country represents the opposite of what Brazil represents."
The demonstrators carried Brazilian and Israeli flags. One of the banners held by the protesters read in Portuguese, "The Holocaust did not exist?"
Other signs read: "A person who denies the Holocaust denies the slavery in Brazil," "Homophobia," "Dictator" and "Negate the State of Israel?" The demonstrators demanded that the Brazilian president teach his Iranian guest that "racism is a crime."