By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Government officials from Espírito Santo state have announced that public entities, schools and health clinics will open as usual on Monday as more than 1,200 military police officers returned to work on Sunday, after more than a week halting any security measures and leaving the state’s capital in total chaos.
According to officials military police officers from different units showed up directly at the sites determined by the corporation without going through the barracks to avoid the continuing blockade of the battalions by family members demanding increased wages. Most returning policemen are officers who were on vacation or off duty last week.
In addition to the normalization of schools and health clinics, bus transportation also resumed in the greater metropolitan Vitória area. Last week, companies kept vehicles inside patios after buses were destroyed by protesters.
Without public transportation, Vitória became at times a ghost town, with very few people on the streets, stores closed, and an intense feeling of fear by the population. According to the latest official figures more than 144 people died in violent circumstances in the city during the nine days of conflict.
Brazil’s Defense Minister Raul Jungmann reiterated on Sunday afternoon that with more than 3,100 men from the Armed Forces patrolling Vitória’s streets, order and public safety were slowly beginning to come back to the city. Jungmann promised that the Armed Forces will remain in Espírito Santo ‘as long as it takes to ensure their lives’.
“The Vitória metropolitan area today faces a much calmer life. Tomorrow the schools will be working, stores will be opens and public transportation system should operate normally. The determination of the President of the Republic, to recover the order, is being met,” Jungmann told reporters in Brasilia after meeting with Michel Temer on Sunday to talk about the crisis involving military police in Espírito Santo state.