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Armed Forces Provide 9,000 Troops to Cover Police Shortage in Rio de Janeiro

02/15/2017 - 11h11

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LUCAS VETTORAZO
LUIZA FRANCO
NICOLA PAMPLONA
FROM RIO

The Federal Government decided to send 9.000 troops from the Armed Forces to reinforce security in Rio de Janeiro and neighboring cities until at least the 22nd of February.

The reinforcement, which represents 20% of the active duty Military Police in the State, will start being mobilized on Tuesday (14).

Defense Minister Raul Jungmann declared that the assistance was necessary to monitor protests and to relieve the overworked police force - and admitted that it was also related to attempts by protesters to prevent troops from leaving their barracks since Friday (10).

Rio's Governor, Luiz Fernando Pezão (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party), had denied that the Armed Forces were being sent to prevent damages from an eventual rebellion by the Military Police (PM).

He said that the Military would be staying to assist with security during Carnaval. The period set for the troops to remain, however, expires before the holiday - although it could be extended.

Similar to what happened in the State of Espírito Santo, relatives of the police are on the front lines of the protests in Rio.

Pezão's administration, however, claims that 95% of on-duty officers scheduled by the PM are in fact on duty in the streets.

The plan is for the Armed Forces to mobilize at Rio's Legislative Assembly, together with the PM, due to the actions being undertaken by public servants who are opposed to measures proposed by the Government to deal with the State's financial crisis.

As a measure to try to contain the dissatisfaction of the police, Rio's Finance Minister announced that salaries to be deposited for Public Security employees would include an increase of 10,22 percent, which had been promised since 2014.

Overdue salaries for employees of the Public Education system will also be paid for a total of R$ 920 million (US$ 295 million) in salary payments.

Both areas have been prioritized in the schedule of payments for the State of Rio de Janeiro.

The payment for the police doesn't include overdue amounts, like 13th salaries, bonuses and overtime, which are the primary focus of the protests being held by the group.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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