By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Police officers in several states in Brazil led a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, less than 21 days before the beginning of the World Cup. Strikers demand better working conditions and higher wages. However, despite Wednesday’s strike, the Brazilian Police Confederation told the federal government that officers do not plan to strike during the World Cup period.
In Rio de Janeiro police officers decided to extend the strike another 24 hours, until Friday morning. Police Union president, Francisco Chao, said however, that officers would be stationed at police stations to take complaints involving violence. He told local press that thirty percent of the force would be on duty, as required by law.
In the other states police unions announced that although strikers made up more than fifty percent of the workforce, essential services were not disrupted and security was not affected. No major incidents were reported in these locations.
As the country gets ready for the World Cup, Rio de Janeiro officials announced this week that another 5,300 troops from Brazil’s Armed Forces would help protect fans and players during the championship. This brings the total to more than 8,000 troops in the city.
Officials say armed forces will be patrolling tourists areas, major roads and Metro (subway) stops as well as hotel areas and the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana Beach. The Maracanã Stadium as well as the training centers for the foreign teams staying in Rio will be have 24 hours-per-day protection from the military forces.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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