By Julia Averbuck, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Just sixty days into the campaign, the 2012 municipal elections have already had more politically associated deaths and acts of violence than the 2010 elections. Over the past two months, twenty-two people have been murdered in incidents related to the upcoming elections.
This number is already 22 percent higher than it was in the 2010 elections, where eighteen people were killed over 118 days.
Due to these incidents of political violence, 410 municipalities have already requested additional security forces from the Electoral Court. The state with the most requests so far is Piauí, with 135 towns having put in a request so far.
Not surprisingly, these incidents of violence are divided up geographically. The states with a history of “coronelismo,” a violent political system from the first half of the 20th century where oligarchs would control entire areas and which has somewhat carried over in a scheme of forcing people to vote for certain candidates,
Coronelismo was strongest in the Northeast, where over 305 towns have already called for added security. In the South and Southeast regions, Rio is the only state to have put in a request so far.
Rio’s request for added security has happened in areas currently or previously controlled by militias or drug lords. Most request in the city of Rio have been in the Zonas Norte and Oeste (North and West Zones) so far.
The added security is being provided by federal troops, to dispel the suspicion that candidates and voters have the PMs (military police) or local police in their camps in many states.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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