Brazil's glaring socio-political and economic time bomb went off in recent months and flared up Sept. 7 during celebrations of Independence Day, but the bomb itself has been ticking away for some time.

A wave of recent protests that sparked in June over a hike in bus prices in São Paulo, spiraled into over 2 million disillusioned demonstrators from across 100 cities in Brazil, voicing their anger against poor public services, high levels of violence, inflation and political corruption.

Instead of hosting exorbitant mega-events such as the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, why not, they asked, invest in public transportation, fund better schools and hospitals, and reduce the ever-widening income gap between the minority haves and majority have-nots? In Rio, 22 percent of the city's population live in roughly 1,000 favelas (slums) that have become Brazil's symbol of blatant socio-economic segregation.