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Brazilian Military Takes Command of Rio State Security

LADB Article ID: 80539
Category/Department: Brazil
Date: 2018-03-02
By: Gregory Scruggs

Calling for “extreme measures” following months of worsening violence in the state of Rio de Janeiro, including robberies and shootouts that marred Rio’s Carnaval celebrations, President Michel Temer announced on Feb. 16 that the Brazilian military would assume control of all security and policing operations in the state. Temer’s move marks the first time since the restoration of democracy and the adoption of the 1988 Constitution that the federal government has interfered in state affairs. Under the Brazilian Constitution’s federal system, public security is a state government responsibility.On Feb. 17, Temer traveled to Rio and formally appointed General Walter Souza Braga Netto of the Comando Militar do Leste as the new official in charge of the state’s security operations. He also announced the formation of a new Ministério da Segurança Pública that would oversee all police and armed forces in the country, effectively replacing the Ministério da Justiça. Political analysts and opposition politicians called the move a smokescreen to mask Temer’s fading political fortunes and avoid a controversial vote on social security reform.

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