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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – President of Brazil, Michel Temer, authorized on Thursday (January 19th) the deployment of Armed Forces troops to Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. The military personnel will reinforce security in the streets of the state’s capital after the ongoing rebellions in the Alcaçuz State Penitentiary.

Brazil,Buses were once again burned on Thursday night in Natal,
Buses were once again burned on Thursday night in Natal, photo courtesy of Seturn.

On Wednesday night (January 18th), several police stations were attacked and at least fourteen buses being burned. On Thursday night, another bus was attacked and burned in the state capital.

On Friday morning, with the intensification of attacks, bus companies decided to keep their vehicles in the patio and Natal’s public transportation came to a standstill.

The request for the reinforcement of the military officials on the streets of Natal was made by Rio Grande do Norte governor, Robinson Faria. For the past week the Alcaçuz prison has reported riots and rebellions, with at least 26 inmates killed.

According to local reports, the street violence was retaliation for the transfer of 220 inmates from the Alcaçuz Penitentiary on Wednesday.

On Tuesday (January 17th), President Temer offered state governors the help of the Armed Forces in conducting prison inspections, searching for weapons, drugs and cell phones. On Wednesday, the governors of Amazonas, Roraima and Rio Grande do Norte officially requested the presence of troops in their prison facilities to try to decrease the violence in their states.

“We are dealing not only with the question of public security and penitentiary security, but we are dealing with a problem which, I think, without any exaggeration, concerns national security, which is actually the competence of the Union,” said President Temer when offering the services of the Armed Forces earlier this week.

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