By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Calling drug traffickers ‘narco-terrorists’ and promising to fight corruption and organized crime while in office, Wilson Witzel was sworn in as Rio de Janeiro state governor on Tuesday, January 1st.

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro,Wilson Witzel takes over as Rio's governor vowing to fight against drug trafficking and corruption
Wilson Witzel takes over as Rio’s governor vowing to fight against drug trafficking and corruption, photo by Tomaz Silva/Agencia Brasil.

“Armed criminals have taken over and dominated portions of our territory, causing disgrace and disorder. I will not allow this ‘parallel power’ to continue,” he during his swearing in speech.

Witzel stated that structures within the police are being reorganized to expand the ability to investigate and arrest. The reorganization calls for the separation of the secretariat of public security into two different departments, one of the military police and one of the civil police.

According to Witzel his administration will reorganize the civil police so that it focuses on the fight against corruption, money laundering and homicides.

A staunch supporter of incoming Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, Rio’s new governor said October’s general election results symbolized the cry of men and women who were tired of corruption.

“The time has come to free Rio from the irresponsibility of the corruption that has marked the last two decades of state policy,” he stated.

The governor also mentioned in his speech the reasons that led him to politics. “I resigned from my career, put away the [judge’s] robe, the federal magistrate and began a journey that symbolizes all my love and my indignation at everything we have seen and heard.”

“It [candidacy] is an act of love for the people of the state of Rio de Janeiro,” concluded Witzel.


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