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FOLHA DE SAO PAULO (Brazil)

Worldcrunch

RIO DE JANEIRO – No matter who's playing, a new Monopoly game created especially for the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics always has the same winner: Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes.

“Your house now costs more after the pacification of a neighboring community. Get 75,000 reais ($ 37,500)...” This sentence is written on a "Community Chest" card from the newly released Olympic City Monopoly, a version of the famous board game created for the 2016 Games, but which seem to have the express purpose of lauding the policies of Mayor Paes.

About 20,000 games were given to local public schools in the city, reports Folha de Sao Paulo.

The rules of the game are the same, but names of properties have been changed to include new projects like the Wonderful Port and the Emergency Operations Center, spearheaded by Paes.

Estrela, the Brazilian toy company licensed by Parker Bros/Tonka to produce the game, told Folha de Sao Paulo that the texts of "Community Chest" and "Chance" cards, as well as the names of properties were created by its employees working with city officials.

The company assures that the sentence written on the box – “Rio is renewing itself and investments are growing” – was written by its own employees.

Estrela benefited from a no-bid tender for the game. Rio de Janeiro paid 1 million reais ($500,000) for 20,000 units of the game, which were given to local public schools.

Teachers and city council members have voiced their disapproval, saying the money would have been better spent on schools. The schools are falling apart and the game contributes nothing to teaching, said the Rio Education Employees Union.

“Teaching geography has nothing to do with this kind of propaganda. This is absurd,” Alex Trentino, coordinator of State Union of Education Employees of Rio, told Folha.

The City Department of Education countered that the game is educational and presents a "contemporary view of the city."

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