The state of Ceará, where almost nine million Brazilians live, is one of the most violent in the country with 12 killed a day. But an illegal military police strike has made the situation worse because in the eight days they have been mutinous in barracks, 170 people have died violently, 21 a day. It is the most serious consequence of an insubordination of the agents in demand of a salary increase, which has also coincided with Carnival, one of the most anticipated moments of the year by any Brazilian. This police protest – a cyclical phenomenon in Brazil despite being illegal – led the president, Jair Bolsonaro, from the extreme right, to order the deployment of the Army and the National Force to patrol the streets.
Those of Ceará are not the only Brazilian military policemen dissatisfied with the salaries they charge, but those who have opted for the most drastic pressure measures. The discomfort for pay is widespread in Brazil and comes from afar. Nothing less than the bodies of 12 states are pressing to improve their working conditions.
The strike in Ceará, which began when the officers put on hoods, grabbed their weapons and refused to work, became national news when a leftist senator received two shots at the doors of a barracks after trying to break the strike to the braves aboard an excavator. The parliamentarian, temporarily on leave of his seat, is out of danger. Cid Gomes is from a family of local political chiefs.
But this riot of the agents occurs at a new juncture: with a former military in the Presidency of the Republic who built his parliamentary career on the defense of the corporate interests of security forces agents and with more police than ever between The parliamentarians It has also coincided with the wink that Bolsonaro launched this Sunday in a private message, revealed by the press, in which he encouraged to participate in a protest promoted by his most ultras followers, open opponents of the Legislative and Judicial Power on behalf of an alleged popular power that Bolsonaro would embody.
Former presidents Lula da Silva and Fernando Henrique Cardoso immediately warned of the seriousness of the presidential support to participate on March 15 in the demonstration formally convened in support of the chief executive but publicized in networks with proclamations that the people seize power from Congress and to the Supreme Court because they torpedo him. For the leftist, “it is one more authoritarian gesture”, for the social democrat it is “an institutional crisis of very serious consequences”. Only a few days ago a minister, retired General Augusto Heleno, said in reference to Congress: “We cannot accept that these guys blackmail us”
The military police are in Brazil the body that is deployed in the streets – the civil police are focused on investigations – and depend on the governments of each state. In addition to deploying to the Army, Bolsonaro dispatched several of his ministers to Ceará, where Sergio Moro, head of Justice, called for tempers to calm down.
A commission composed of members of the three powers of the State tries to open a channel of dialogue with the leaders of the rebel police, concentrated in a Fortaleza barracks, according to local press. So far, 230 agents have been temporarily suspended for joining the riot. Amnesties in these cases are frequent. The three predecessors of Bolsonaro promoted laws to forgive those involved.
The analyst Ilona Szabó write on Folha by S.Paulo this Wednesday that historically the authorities have not addressed structural issues necessary to professionalize security forces. And, after remembering that the president has supported military and police riots throughout his political career, he emphasizes that “the election of Bolsonaro is, in part, a product of the indulgence and neglect of decades with public security and forces police and not the cause of current tensions. ”