Many of those forced from their homes in preparation for the football tournament are asking: 'World Cup for whom?'
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Every four years, Brazilians decorate their streets in green and yellow, celebrating the arrival of the most anticipated sports tournament in the country.
With the kick-off for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil less than one month away, the country's passion for football should be pulsating more than ever.
But there are some signs to the contrary. "World Cup for whom?" read the words painted on a wall on a street in Sao Paulo.
Many in Brazil's middle class are unhappy with the effects the World Cup has already had on their lives. The cost of living has risen in the cities hosting the games, traffic jams have worsened, and a construction boom aimed at improving urban mobility has only compounded problems, they say.
But it is the poorest Brazilians who have borne the brunt of the World Cup preparations. According to the Popular Committee for the World Cup and Olympics, a group opposed to how the games' preparations have been handled, 250,000 people across Brazil have been forcefully removed from their houses or are being threatened with eviction. Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre are the most affected cities, it says.
Marli Nascimento's family and 117 others had been living in the low-income Parque Sao Francisco area in the town of Camaragibe, just outside of Recife, for more than 60 years. Between February 2013 and March 2014, her whole community was levelled to make room for a highway leading to Arena Pernambuco stadium, where Germany, Italy, Mexico, Japan and the US teams will play.
'Some people didn't have a place to go'
In a firm tone, Marli, 61, told Al Jazeera that her sister-in-law has developed depression brought on by the first eviction notice in 2011. The stress of the process, she said, has been too much for her.
"The government didn't want to negotiate. There was one public meeting and then the official said we had five days to leave.