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Protesting Police Officers Invade Governmental Headquarters in Minas Gerais

06/07/2018 - 11h08

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CAROLINA LINHARES

FROM BELO HORIZONTE

On Wednesday afternoon (the 6th), hundreds of public safety & security servants invaded the external area of the Liberty Palace (Palácio da Liberdade), the headquarters of the Government of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, the State's Capital.

Representatives of the protesters said that they would camp out in the locale to demand negotiations with Governor Fernando Pimentel (PT Party). Among the protesters are civil and military police, firefighters and penitentiary agents.

The public servants have requested a salary increase, an end to payment of their monthly salaries in smaller installments over time, and payment of withholdings to the social security institution. If their requests aren't met, they have raised the possibility of a strike.

"We will stay as many days as necessary until the Governor calls on us to talk. This is a non-violent occupation, orderly and peaceful", declared State Congressman Sargent Rodrigues (PTB Party), one of the leaders of the manifestation.

MARIELA GUIMARAES / O TEMPO
Hundreds of public safety & security servants invaded the external area of the Palacio da Liberdade
Hundreds of public safety & security servants invaded the external area of the Palacio da Liberdade

The public servants broke through the gate surrounding the palace and once in the gardens, began singing the national anthem. Military police guarded the doors to the building. Governor Pimentel wasn't on the premises at the time of the invasion.

Congressman Rodrigues said that the number of active duty police and penitentiary agents has been reduced beyond budget cuts. He estimates that the category has suffered a loss of 25% in salary due to a lack of inflation adjustment in the last four years. Additionally, since 2016, the public servants' monthly salaries have been paid through smaller installments made over a longer time period due to the state's financial crisis.

Responding to the protesters, the state government said that the payment of monthly salaries in smaller installments to public servants of the Executive branch is a reflection of the economic crisis that had previously led the government to declare a state of financial calamity.

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