By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The situation remains tense in the capital of Espírito Santo, Vitória, during the sixth day of violence. City officials have announced that schools and health clinics should remain closed and the Road Workers’ Union announced they would suspend bus transportation for city residents on Wednesday for fear of escalating violence.
“After carefully monitoring the latest events, [I believe] that the environment of full security and mobility of public employees, the population and their families, has not yet been reconstituted, so unfortunately, it is necessary to suspend all City Hall activities again,” said the mayor of Vitória, Luciano Rezende, in a press statement.
According to officials, all public personnel are advised to stay home and only activities of the Municipal Guard and essential cleaning crew will be maintained.
The violence has also led the main bus driver union in Vitória to restrict their members from going out on the streets. “In order to serve the users of the system, the union has called the category to return to work on Tuesday but despite the presence of Army police in the passenger terminals, road transportation workers continue to be victims of physical aggressions, robberies and death threats from criminals and robbers,” said union president Edson da Fonseca Bastos in a statement released to the press.
According to Bastos, the union had authorized part of the bus fleet to circulate on Tuesday morning and afternoon but because of the violence against the bus drivers, the official says that buses will be grounded to the patio for the time being.
The violence is due to a protest by the families of military police personnel, who are responsible for public safety in the city, for a hike in wages. The mobilization of the families in front of the police battalions has prevented the departure of vehicles with security personnel from leaving the stations and patrolling city.
On Monday, the federal government authorized sending two hundred federal troops to help with the security in Vitória.