Brazil: Nationwide Police Strike in Run-up to World Cup

EspañolPolicemen from 14 of Brazil’s 27 states announced a 24-hour strike beginning on Tuesday, after a similar walk-out in the northeastern part of the country last week provoked chaos and violence. The strike takes place less than a month before the beginning of the World Cup soccer tournament.

Police officers are protesting the lack of long-term job policies and demanding a change in strategy in the fight against crime and violence, as well as better working conditions. “Do you know what lesson the World Cup will leave us in terms of public safety? Nothing,” said Janio Gandra, president of COBRAPOL, one of the police unions organizing the strike.

“Crime rates will drop across the country during the World Cup, but when it’s over they will rise again. There’s no long-term project to look after citizens,” criticized Gandra. Although Brazil’s Military Police (PM), also responsible for public safety, did not join the walk-out, last week they called for a three-day protest in northeastern state Recife, forcing the government to send in Army troops and arrest nearly 200 people.

In a climate of increasing pressure on Dilma Rousseff’s administration over the perceived mishandling of World Cup preparations, several groups such as police and transportation unions have threatened to go on strike during the event. The international competition is expected to attract around 600,000 foreign visitors in June and July.

Source: El Economista.

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