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Brazil Battling Crime Wave Fueled By Prison Chaos

Troops are being sent in to combat gang violence in Brazil's Ceara state in the first test of new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's hardline law-and-order platform. PHOTO: Yahoo/AFP

By Eugenia Logiuratto | 20 January 2019

YAHOO (AFP) — Police and soldiers are being deployed in large numbers to Brazil’s northeast to fight a wave of gang violence fueled by the overloaded, collapsing prison system.

More than 400 elite federal troops have been sent to the city of Fortaleza and the rest of Ceara state to reinforce overwhelmed local cops, who face a dramatic rash of attacks on government buildings, buses, police stations, banks and bridges by well-armed gang members.

The deployment, now in its third week, was requested by the state’s leftist governor but authorized by Brazil’s new government. It is the first test of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s tough law-and-order stance.

Since the deployment the number of daily violent incidents has dropped but not stopped, and many locals are staying at home for fear of being targeted. […]

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