Brazilian police return to work after strike triggers chaos

2017-02-13 06:07
A police officer walks next to uniforms painted with red ink to symbolise blood during a strike in Rio de Janeiro. (Silvia Izquierdo, AP)

A police officer walks next to uniforms painted with red ink to symbolise blood during a strike in Rio de Janeiro. (Silvia Izquierdo, AP)

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Rio de Janeiro - Several hundred police returned to their patrols on Sunday after eight days of strikes in a southeastern Brazilian state that was plunged into violence during the work stoppage.

Relatives of officers had blocked access to all military police stations since February 4 to demand raises and better working conditions for police, who are barred by the constitution from going on strike or protesting.

Although relatives continue to block some stations, "military policemen have been seen in several cities in Espirito Santo," said the local government.

"They have responded to the call of command and are back in the streets," it said.

A government spokesperson said that 875 officers were in uniform and working Sunday in the state of Espirito Santo, including 275 in the capital city Vitoria. Normally, 2 000 of the state's 10 400 policemen are on patrol each day.

At least 137 people were reported killed amid looting and robbery in Espirito Santo since police went on strike more than a week ago.

Some officers were taken by helicopter to city streets because of the blockades.

With police gone from the streets, assaults, vandalism and killings rose sharply in Espirito Santo, which is 500km north of Rio de Janeiro.

More than 3 000 soldiers were deployed to maintain order and will remain on the streets until the situation returns to normal, said Defence Minister Raul Jungman.

Read more on:    brazil

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