Brazil Deploys 8,500 Armed Forces in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil will employ 8,500 troops to Rio de Janeiro as part of the National Security Plan.

Violence has spiked in Rio de Janeiro this year and fighting crime in the city has become a huge priority of Brazil’s ISP (Institute of Public Security).

Rio Times Online reports:

This comes a day after Defense Minister Raul Jungmann described the federal efforts as ‘focusing on three pillars: integration, intelligence and surprise’, but also saying there will be no ostensible presence of the Armed Forces occupying the streets, according to a government news source.

In the wake of the economic crisis and breakdown of the security in Rio, including the UPP program, federal authorities are taking a new tack. Looking to avoid a costly occupation effort, Jungmann confirmed that “The menu is any and every action that is needed to strike and take away the capacity of the [drug] trafficking.”

Shortly after signing a decree authorizing the use of the Armed Forces in the state, President Michel Temer commented on the decision. In a video posted on the president’s official Twitter account, he opened the message stating that military employment is supported by the Federal Constitution.

According to insightcrime.org, a report issued in April indicates:

Rio de Janeiro has seen significant increases in the proportion of intentional homicides, vehicle thefts, and homicides resulting from police intervention in 2017, compared to the same period last year. Respectively, there was an 11.6 percent, 47.5 percent, and 96.7 percent increase in these indicators in March 2017, compared to March 2016.

[…] The study also suggests that the increasing frequency of these types of crime over the past year is representative of a larger pattern in worsening crime rates, particularly with respect to vehicle thefts and homicides resulting from police intervention.

While crime frequency increases, local trust of police handling of the problem in the city deteriorates, and Brazil has chosen to employ its armed forces to help curb the city’s rampant crime.

Rio Times Online continues:

The Armed Forces are already operating in the streets and avenues of Rio’s Metropolitan Region. From early afternoon, Army soldiers were stationed at strategic points, supported by motorcycles, jeeps and even armored, check-points stopping suspicious cars and inspecting documents.

At the junction of the Linha Vermelha and Rodovia Washington Luiz (BR 040), two vital routes for the metropolitan area, men of the 26th Parachute Infantry Battalion set up a monitoring station to monitor vehicles.

According to the captain who commanded the operation, there is no specific time limit for that mission and at any moment they could be deployed to another location in the city.

Although the road blitz increased traffic congestion, government news reports say the drivers did not appear to be upset and some even honked and waved, demonstrating support for the military.

Brazilian officials are not disclosing routines, schedules, or locations where the Armed Forces may be deployed.

Defense Minister Raul Jungmann says, “The menu is any and every action that is needed to strike and take away the capacity of the [drug] trafficking.”

Let us know what you think of Brazil’s handling of crime and drug trafficking in our comments section below.