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The samba parades used to be a magnet for politicians before a sprawling corruption investigation around state-run oil giant Petrobras began in
Politics aside, thirteen samba schools from the top division were facing off in a talent contest taken every bit as seriously as the city's great love - football.
Rio Carnival sees naked body paint, thongs and slave-themed dancers for dazzling 700m samba parade
Three of the samba schools taking openly critical stands against the political and corruption crisis that has engulfed Latin America's biggest country over the last four years.
Description: Unusually for a mayor, Crivella is not even expected to come anywhere near the parades.