Traditional samba school Mangueira won the Rio Sambadrome competition parade for the 20th time with a show that paid tribute to Rio councilwoman Marielle Franco, who was assassinated almost a year ago.
In a year that many parades celebrated black culture, Mangueira presented a samba song that talked about the unsung Brazilian heroes, many of them indigenous, black or females, such as Franco.
Her widow Mônica Benício paraded along the last section, honoring favela dwellers that rose above their circumstances.
The parade subverted the images of many historical figures, like Brazil discoverer Pedro Álvares Cabral, portrayed as a con man and using a prison uniform. A famous monument in São Paulo honoring the Bandeirantes (Portuguese settlers who led expeditions inside Brazil's backcountry) was stained red from the blood of the indigenous tribes these settlers encountered.
Mangueira obtained perfect scores from the judges, and even before the result was announced, its members were already singing its song and celebrating their victory.
Translated by NATASHA MADOV