By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Governors of seven Brazilian states released an open letter on Friday calling for the release of R$42 billion in funds, promised by the Temer Administration back in March, for the nation’s public security system. According to the governors the money to be invested in public security has yet to reach the states.
“We still wait for the definition of the criteria of the credit line of the R$ 42 billion, promised on March 9th, in a meeting held in the Presidential Palace, without any of the states having been successful in accessing these resources, although more than 60 days have passed since the announcement,” says the letter addressed to President Temer.
The letter was signed by the governors of Bahia, Ceará, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte and Minas Gerais.
The funds are to be used to improve security equipment and mechanisms in local, state and federal penitentiaries as well as equipment and tools for federal and state security agents.
“What worries me is public safety. We watched the creation of the Ministry (of Public Security) and as governor of a state that is currently living a “war”, I want to know what the new public policy for Brazil is,” said Rio Grande do Norte Governor, Robinson Farias during the press conference with journalists.
“For decades the Union has never cared about this issue,” added Farias, whose state (Rio Grande do Norte) has registered a surge of violence, both within its prison system as well as in its cities.
In response, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Security said the government’s estimate is that the funds to be used in public security will be made available by the end of May.