By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The recent wave of killings in the Northeastern state of Ceara has led Brazil’s President Michel Temer to authorize a Federal Police intelligence team task force to the state to help public security forces.

President Temer listens to Ceara governor, Camilo Santana and state senator Eunicio Oliveira on Tuesday in Brasilia,,,
President Temer listens to Ceara governor, Camilo Santana and state senator Eunicio Oliveira on Tuesday in Brasilia, photo by Marcos Correa/PR.

Ceara’s governor, Camilo Santana, met with Temer on Tuesday and asked for federal help in fighting the increase of organized crime in the state.

“This is a time to join forces, in the interest of the defense of the people of Ceará,” Senator Eunicio Oliveira, a Ceara native, told reporters after the meeting. “We were well received by the President regarding the issues brought by the governor. All the requests are being analyzed, some were promptly authorized,” added Oliveira.

According to reports from news outlet G1 Santana asked Temer for R$15 million in federal help to create an integrated intelligence unit to fight organized crime.

The crisis in public security in Ceara intensified on Saturday, January 27th when the state registered the greatest mass killing of its history after a group of gunmen killed fourteen people attending a party in the outskirts of Ceara’s capital, Fortaleza.

According to local police the shooting may be related to on-going gang wars to take over weapons and drug trade in the state.

On Monday, January 29th another rival gang fight left ten inmates dead at the Itapaje public jail, in the interior of the state. A search conducted in the jail after the killings confiscated weapons, ammunition and drugs hidden with the inmates.

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