UPDATED 7:46 AM PT — Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Brazil’s justice ministry has ordered the “special” deployment of soldiers to the city of Fortaleza due to a surge in gang violence.
Around 300 troops have been deployed to the state of Ceara in an effort to tackle attacks on local businesses, banks, and buses.
According to officials, the attacks stemmed from gangs protesting stricter prison reform, which sought to “undercut control” of gangs in prison.
The Brazilian government hopes the move will eliminate the wave of gang violence across the country.
“It’s important to understand that today it is an issue that Brazil is facing, the problem of the prison system,” explained Ceara state Governor Camilo Santana. “Here in Ceara we have taken a decision to get tough against organized crime and to comply with the law in the prison system.”
180 people have been arrested as a result of the crackdown so far.