Brazil has been swept with a rash of violence as gangs react to new President Jair Bolsonaro’s crackdown on crime – which includes military takeovers of Brazilian cities and shoot-to-kill orders carried out by teams of sharpshooters.
Five hundreds national guard troops have been deployed to the north-eastern town of Fortaleza in the state of Ceará, after authorities have been overwhelmed by more than a week of violence which saw more than 160 attacks, reports the Guardian.
Security forces say three rival drug gangs have come together to carry out more than 160 attacks in retaliation for a proposal to end the practice of separating gang factions inside Brazil’s prisons.
Buses, mail trucks and cars have been torched. Police stations, city government buildings and banks have been attacked with petrol bombs and explosives. On Sunday, criminals blew up a telephone exchange, leaving 12 cities without mobile service. Other explosions have damaged a freeway overpass and a bridge. –Guardian
There have been 148 arrests linked to the attacks, while at least 20 prisoners suspected of ordering the attacks haver been transferred from state to federal prisons – where Bolsonaro’s administration says it won’t back down on its plan to combat gang activity.