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Army Wants Weapons and Vehicles to Restore Structure of Rio de Janeiro Police Force

02/22/2018 - 10h21

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SÉRGIO RANGEL
FROM SÃO PAULO
LUCAS VETTORAZZO
FROM RIO

The Army has decided that in addition to reducing the rates of violence, the restoration of the police structure in Rio de Janeiro will be a priority during the period of federal intervention in the state, with the acquisition of weapons and vehicles to deal with the old and familiar complaint of lack of resources and equipment.

General Walter Souza Braga Netto, who was nominated by President Michel Temer, is planning to use the nearly ten months that he will be in command of public security in Rio de Janeiro to re-establish the operational capability of the police forces - and not simply change personnel, teams and strategies in order to combat criminality.

This is an old and familiar complaint from the top leadership of Rio's security forces, which have been managing for a considerable time with a continuous reduction in funding.

The budget that will provide for the intervention in Rio still hasn't been defined by Temer's government, but the expectation of the armed forces is that sufficient resources will be provided to guarantee a successful intervention.

Finance minister Henrique Meirelles said on Wednesday (the 21st) that he is working to secure a loan of approximately R$ 1 billion (US$ 306 million) for the state.

Based upon the planning that is being done by the CML (Eastern Military Command), the plan is to re-equip military and civil police forces and restructure security entities - with reinforcements, for example, in intelligence capability.

The last time that the Military Police (PM) acquired new vehicles was in 2014. More than half of the PM's fleet is out of service and vehicles have been caught on film while being pushed manually by troops.

Police officers have complained about the lack of maintenance for weapons. Videos have circulated showing officers having difficulty firing shots from automatic rifles during confrontations.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

Read the article in the original language

Pilar Olivares/Reuters
Members of the armed forces patrol the Kelson's slum during an operation against crime in Rio
Members of the armed forces patrol the Kelson's slum during an operation against crime in Rio

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