Bolsonaro deploys army as military police strike prompts violence

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro (r) with his new Chief of Staff, Army General Walter Braga Netto

HAVANA TIMES – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has deployed the country’s armed forces to the north-eastern state of Ceara, where military police officers are striking in a bid for wage increases, reported dpa news. 

A decree published in the government’s official gazette late Thursday said Bolsonaro had “authorized the use of the armed forces to guarantee law and order in the state of Ceara.”

According to the G1 news site, there had been 51 homicides in a 48-hour period during which military police were striking in the coastal state, which is home to nearly 9 million people.

The request for armed forces was made by the state’s governor after prominent Senator Cid Gomes was shot twice in the chest as he was driving an excavator at a picket line where police officers were protesting.

Military police in the state are basing their strike on the argument that they are paid less than their counterparts elsewhere in the country. Police are forbidden from taking part in strikes under Brazilian law.

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