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By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The government announced yesterday (July 28th) that the implementation of the National Security Plan in Rio de Janeiro will employ 8,500 members of the Armed Forces, 620 members of the National Security Force and 1,120 of the Federal Highway Police, in an effort to improve security.

Brazil has deployed 8,500 troops in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Brazil has deployed 8,500 troops in Rio de Janeiro as part of the National Security Plan, photo by Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil.

In the middle of an economic crisis and a surge of crime in Rio, federal authorities are stepping in to help. Defense Minister Raul Jungmann described the operation as ‘focusing on three pillars: integration, intelligence and surprise’.

Looking to avoid a costly occupation effort, Jungmann confirmed that “The menu is any and every action that is needed to strike and take away the capacity of the [drug] trafficking.”

Shortly after signing a decree authorizing the use of the Armed Forces in the state, President Michel Temer commented on the decision. In a video posted on the president’s official Twitter account, he opened the message stating that military employment is supported by the Federal Constitution.

Directing his speech to the residents of Rio de Janeiro, he justified the decree citing the severity of the public security crisis in the state. “The purpose of the mission is to defend the integrity of the population, preserve public order and ensure the functioning of institutions.”

Rio’s Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão said yesterday, that “We are doing a great job of integration. Last night I called President Temer and he promptly answered my request for the Armed Forces.”

Troops on the highway, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
National troops are already operating along the Linha Vermelha highway in Rio de Janeiro, photo by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil.

“The state will be strengthened in this partnership with the federal forces supporting our [police] in this confrontation. I am sure that with this integration we will be able to fight organized crime more strongly,” said Pezão.

The Armed Forces are already operating in the streets and avenues of Rio’s Metropolitan Region. From early afternoon, Army soldiers were stationed at strategic points, supported by motorcycles, jeeps and even armored, check-points stopping suspicious cars and inspecting documents.

At the junction of the Linha Vermelha and Rodovia Washington Luiz (BR 040), two vital routes for the metropolitan area, men of the 26th Parachute Infantry Battalion set up a monitoring station to monitor vehicles.

According to the captain who commanded the operation, there is no specific time limit for that mission and at any moment they could be deployed to another location in the city.

Although the road blitz increased traffic congestion, government news reports say the drivers did not appear to be upset and some even honked and waved, demonstrating support for the military.

The National Security Plan operation in Rio de Janeiro will continue until the end of 2018. The last time federal troops were in Rio was before Carnival last year, and before then for the 2016 Olympics and 2014 World Cup.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s have the Summer Olympics there ! That many billions of dollars spent on urban development will certainly cure all of Rio’s economic ills. There may even be enough for a healthy mordida. Surely Rio wouldn’t return to being a crime-ridden, rat infested shithole would it?

  2. “This comes a day after Defense Minister Raul Jungmann described the federal efforts as ‘focusing on three pillars: integration, intelligence and surprise’, but also saying there will be no ostensible presence of the Armed Forces occupying the streets.”

    This paragraph followed by

    “The Armed Forces are already operating in the streets and avenues of Rio’s Metropolitan Region. From early afternoon, Army soldiers were stationed at strategic points, supported by motorcycles, jeeps and even armored, check-points stopping suspicious cars and inspecting documents.”

    So, which is it?

  3. The answer to this dilemma will be more automation and less employment. More wealth concentrated in the hands of fewer individuals who will use it to elevate the interests of mankind. You know the drill.

  4. Its about time, let the exercito go out and shoot to kill, they dont do anything anyway, its a job, 8 to 5, exercise e make good salaries, i know because i was in it for a time. They have big guns, like the traficantes.

  5. @ Amos – I think the difference is that before they had UPP stations and fixed guard posts for months on end in some favelas. Now they will be mobile and pop up operations at different points in the city for day (?). I guess that’s part of the surprise.

  6. Perhaps Brazil should look back to Portugal and its decriminalized intoxicants, which has apparenlty lowered Portuguese addiction rates and, in turn, the linked crime and crime-containment costs. Hopefully Uruguay’s experiment will similarly point to a way out of ever more violence and oppression. Few people kill each other over alcohol in countries where it is sold legally.

  7. After deploying troops, what excuses Brazil will have; about not being able to end the organized crime? Who will they blame next?

  8. @Roger Godby Excellent comment! It is long past time that Brazil begin to decriminalize the drugs, as it is drug prohibition, and not the drugs themselves, which are to blame for the crime and the absurd profits which undergird it. Portugal has proven this — just as the end of alcohol prohibition provedit in the United States.

    And speaking of the United States — the intellectual home of drug prohibition, as it were — let’s just hope that Rio’s crime problem does not become as bad as places like Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, Milwaukee, or New Orleans, all of which are far more dangerous than Rio (and not nearly as beautiful).

  9. Pooh, where did you get that information? Many countries in South America are doing just fine, some of them with lower crime rates than in the US.

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