Sunday, February 12, 2012

Update: Police, Firefighter Strike in Rio de Janeiro Continues, City Prepares to Deploy Military

As a follow-up to yesterday's (February 11) update, the police and firefighters strike in Rio shows no sign of ending anytime soon, which could force authorities to deploy some 14,000 soldiers into the streets to maintain order, particularly during the Carnival celebration, scheduled for February 18-21.

COMMENT: Rio's police and firefighters walked off the job on Friday (February 10) to demand a pay raise, not content with a last-minute legislative approval of a 39% hike staggered over this year and the next.

There are concerns that the strike could cripple the city's Carnival celebrations, which pumps more than US$500 million into the city's economy annually, yet the state governor insists he will deploy the military onto the streets of Rio to ensure that Carnival occurs on schedule.

Unfortunately, the strike has created doubt that Brazil's public safety agencies can be depended on to protect the public during the 2014 soccer World Cup games and the 2016 Olympics.

This report will be updated each day.

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