August 7, 2020

Brazilian state has 122 homicides in 4 days amid police strike

The state of Ceará, in northeastern Brazil, registered a total of 122 homicides during the four days since the start of a strike by militarized police officers in the region, official sources reported Sunday.

According to the Secretary of Public Security and Social Defense of Ceará, only 34 murders were counted this Saturday, while the number of homicides registered between Wednesday, the first day of paralysis, and today is 122.

Last Tuesday there were 5 murders, while on Wednesday, the first day of the strike, the number rose to 29.

Also, so far in February, 286 people were killed in Ceará, compared to 164 who were killed in the same month last year.

The Ministry of Public Security also reported that the daily average of murders in the four days of paralyzing the police stood at 30.5, compared to the average of 8.4 recorded last January.

Ceará is experiencing a public order crisis in recent days after part of the state’s militarized police rioted, which led Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, to authorize the use of the Armed Forces to ensure security in the region.

Around 2,500 soldiers will reinforce, as of this Sunday, security on the streets throughout the state.

The revolts of the agents began Tuesday afternoon, when hooded and masked people – supposedly police officers – entered several barracks in different cities of the state and punctured the wheels of official vehicles.

A day later, Labor Senator Cid Gomes, brother of former presidential candidate Ciro Gomes, was hit by two shots in the chest when he tried to enter a mutinous police station with a backhoe in the city of Sobral, about 230 kilometers from the capital Regional Fortress.

This Sunday, the senator was discharged from hospital, after he spent five days in an Intensive Care Unit of a city hospital, and will continue with a treatment at home.

The riot of the agents has also forced to cancel the carnival parties in three municipalities of the state, an important tourist destination of the South American country and that receives some of the main carnival festivals of Brazil.

Given the situation, the Government of Ceará suspended 167 mutinous agents for 120 days and opened an administrative process for other possible sanctions.

Militarized police officers, who have military status, are constitutionally prohibited from striking, a decision that was ratified in 2017 by the Supreme Court, the country’s highest court.


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