By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – One day after the federal government announced a public security plan and the creation of a social action task force for Rio de Janeiro, Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão applauded the assistance in the fight against the traffic of arms and drugs during an interview yesterday, Tuesday, June 6th.

Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luiz Fernando Pezão, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luiz Fernando Pezão, and Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella, speaking to the press after a meeting with President Temer in late March, photo by Antonio Cruz/Agência Brasil.

Pezão said to CBN radio, “Rio needs this integration. Since yesterday, social development, education, health, and state government teams are launching actions that will immediately get into communities and their budgets.[…] The federal government will provide resources. This was the commitment of President Michel Temer and the Minister of Planning.”

The Plano Nacional de Segurança Pública (National Public Security Plan) was announced on Monday, June 5th, by the Minister of the Institutional Security Office (GSI), General Sérgio Etchegoyen, along with Defense Minister Raul Jungmann and Justice Minister Torquato Jardim.

According to the plan, the Armed Forces will work to combat transnational crimes, such as smuggling of arms and drugs, as well as provide support for special operations. On Monday Jungmann did not detail the number of military personnel who will be assigned to the so-called Law and Order Guarantee (GLO) actions.

General Etchegoyen said the state of Rio and specifically the metropolitan region of the capital were chosen to be the first recipient of the plan because of the “advanced level of deterioration that public security has reached”.

According to Pezão, the commandos have already made themselves available to Rio to help. “There are 415 men here from the National Security Force, and if the intelligence finds any place, some warehouse or anything, that needs the Armed Forces to enter, they will go in.”

During the radio interview, Pezão added that reports made to him by the Secretary of State for Security, Roberto Sá, by the Military Police commander, Colonel Wolney Dias, and by the Civil Police Chief, Carlos Augusto Leba, show that the performance of the Pacifying Police units (UPPs) is still effective, but changes in the program have to be made.

“Crime rates in these regions today are much lower than when they did not have UPP. I know that adjustments need to be made. One of the necessary actions is the hiring of more police, which, unfortunately, we can not do now. I think the federal government’s security plan and the tax recovery agreement will help with hiring,” he said.

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