Beija-Flor took first place in the February, 2015 samba school parades during Carnaval in the Sambódromo in Rio de Janeiro. It was accused by many of having been sponsored this year by Equatorial Guinea, a dictatorship. Beija-Flor's many recent victories have also raised eyebrows about the impartiality of the parade judges. Nevertheless, they did put on quite a show, as usual.
Read about Carnaval and samba in The Brazilian Sound:
by Chris McGowan and Ricardo Pessanha
Also by Chris McGowan: The Brazilian Music Book: Brazil's