Brazil orders deployment of troops to tackle gang violence in country

OAN Newsroom
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.

Vehicles burn in the street after attacks in the city of Fortaleza, northeastern Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Brazil’s newly inaugurated government has ordered military police sent to Ceara state following a wave of attacks on banks, public buildings and infrastructure over the past two days, which have hit 15 cities, including the capital. (AP Photo/Alex Gomes/O Povo)

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.