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  • The National Force was created to support states that seek assistance from the federal government.

    The National Force was created to support states that seek assistance from the federal government. | Photo: Brazil's Ministry of Justice and Public Security

Published 17 April 2019

According to the edict, the troops will act to preserve “public order and the safety of people and property, in defense of the assets and of the Union.”

At the request of the Institutional Security Office (GSI), Brazil's Ministry of Justice and Public Security has authorized the deployment of personnel from the National Public Security Force for the upcoming April and May protests which is organized by various sectors of society.

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The decision will be implemented in the capital, Brasilia, for 33 days, as of April 17, in order to "preserve public order." Troops will be stationed at the Esplanada dos Ministérios (Esplanade of the Ministries)  and Praça dos Três Poderes (Plaza of the Three Powers), around which the Supreme Federal Court (STF), the Planalto Palace (Presidential seat) and the National Congress are located. 

The GSI informed Agencia Brazil that the measure is preventative and is due to the expected demonstrations on April 24 and 26 by Indigenous groups for the XV Free Land Encampment, and from the end of April until May 1 by worker unions and left-wing parties to march against the pension system reform proposed by President Jair Bolsonaro.

According to the act signed by Sergio Moro - the judge who ruled on Lula’s imprisonment - the troops will act to preserve “public order and the safety of people and property, in defense of the assets and of the Union.”

The National Force was created in 2004 to support ostensible policing from states that seek assistance from the federal government during episodes of public disorder. The force can also act in emergency situations and public calamities and cooperate with federal security agencies. 

The troops, who are headquartered in Brasilia, are comprised of military and civilian police, firefighters, and experts from the state and federal district governments available for up to two years.

A federal legislator from the Workers Party (PT), Paulo Pimenta, said it is very serious to use the National Force to patrol the capital. "There is no fact to justify this and no explanation has been offered," the legislator said in a video posted to his Twitter account.

Pimenta presented a legislative decree draft to halt Moro’s decision Wednesday. The PT leader explained that, by the current legislation, the National Force can only be used in the states and the Federal District by express request of the state governor.

"What did not happen in this case,” thus adding the action “constitutes high illegality and unconstitutionality.”

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