Police strike leads to state of emergency as 3,500 army troops called in; death toll up to 83
The situation in Salvador, Bahia has been chaos since the beginning of the police strike. The population of Salvador (more than 2 million) is 80% Afro-Brazilian. Major news outlets such as CNN are already following the situation as the death toll continues to rise. Here is how BRAZZIL magazine is reporting the situation.
Bahia Police Strike Escalates: Strikers Take Assembly, Army Surrounds Them
Written by Pedro Pedruzzi
Monday, 06 February 2012 14:24
Sign: Military police of Bahia on strike
The number of weekly murders in the capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, Salvador, since the beginning of a strike by the Military Police, on February 1, has doubled, rising from 41 to 83. During the same period, robberies rose from 78 to 150.
State authorities have called the strike illegal and refused to grant an amnesty to the strikers. At least 12 arrest warrants against leaders of the strike movement have been issued, but there are reports of only one arrest.
The striking policemen are demanding a career plan, a gratification and salary increase (the government is offering a 6.5% pay increase), besides a general amnesty for participants in the movement. After camping out in front of the state Legislative Assembly, over the weekend they invaded the building. The state Secretary of Security says the number of police on strike is only around 30% of the 30,000 the state has. But, the secretary adds that due to certain characteristics it is believed that striking policemen are participating in the crime wave that has hit the city.
Striking policemen, wearing masks, disrupted traffic in the center of the city causing panic among residents.
The federal government has responded by sending in the Army. Over the weekend the number of army troops in Salvador reached 3,500.
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Source: Black Women of Brazil