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  • Armed Forces members patrol in Jacarezinho slum during an operation against drug gangs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil January 18, 2018

    Armed Forces members patrol in Jacarezinho slum during an operation against drug gangs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil January 18, 2018 | Photo: Reuters file.

Published 7 January 2019

Last week, a wave of violent attacks perpetrated by gangs against banks, transportation infrastructure, and small businesses, rocked several cities in the coastal State of Fortaleza.

The Brazilian government deployed a new contingent of 300 elite troops to the northern city of Fortaleza, capital of the State of Ceara, to attempt to quell the ongoing violence, Sunday.

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The latest deployment of troops was ordered by Brazil’s federal justice and Public Security Ministry, currently led by Sergio Moro.

Last week, a wave of violent attacks perpetrated by gangs against banks, transportation infrastructure, and small businesses, rocked several cities in the coastal state.

Recent reports include cars and buses being torched, gas stations being robbed in Fortaleza, and at least six other cities and confrontations between police and attackers killing two suspects.

More than 100 people have been arrested since last Wednesday when the violence first broke out.

Authorities believe the wave of attacks is a response by organized crime groups who want to contest government plans to enforce tighter controls in State’s prisons, according to AFP.

Brazil’s Minister of Justice Sergio Moro, catering to President Jair Bolsonaro, is in support of relaxing legislation surrounding weapons possession.

Despite some preliminary reservations, Moro has rallied behind a number of Bolsonaro’s proposals, including lowering the age of criminal accountability to 18.

Moro’s appointment has been mired in controversy under suspicions that he would have violated the Magistracy Ethics Code by "initiating negotiations to exercise another public office even during the exercise of the position of magistrate." 

The neoliberal, racist, homophobic, and misogynistic former army captain scored the Brazilian presidency after winning the October presidential elections with 56 percent of the vote.

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