The Brazilian government on Wednesday ordered the deployment of soldiers at various airports and ports across the country. This concerns “an integrated operation to combat organized crime,” reports Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
According to the decree, the federal police will be reinforced by the army at various airports and ports in the vast eastern cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. A total of 3,700 members of the army, air force and navy are deployed. The military mobilization will last until May next year and could be extended if necessary. “The situation has reached a very serious point, the violence we are experiencing has worsened day by day,” Lula said.
Last week, at least 35 buses were torched in western Rio de Janeiro after a prominent member of the city’s largest militia was killed by police. Local media report that police believe the buses were set on fire in revenge. In Brazil, many former and active police officers are members of militias involved in drug trafficking and other criminal activities.