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Brazil deploys troops in Fortaleza to stop gang violence Brazil deploys troops in Fortaleza to stop gang violence  (ANSA)

Brazil sends troops to quell criminal violence

Brazil’s Justice and Public Security Minister has sent a task force of military troops to quell violence in the northeast of the country, following a week of criminal retaliation for plans to impose tighter restrictions in state prisons.

By James Blears

Three hundred federal troops in thirty trucks are patrolling the streets of Brazil's fifth largest city, Fortaleza. They're bolstering local police.

Organized crime launched an onslaught response to tougher jail time rules,  including the confiscation of cellular phones and desegregation of inmates, which had previously been done according to cartel affiliation. 

The response wasn't long in coming, in the form of a prison riot.

Meanwhile, outside its walls on the streets, shops were looted and set on fire, buses were torched, banks and public buildings shot at, police stations attacked and a homemade bomb was placed by a viaduct.

More than fifty people have so far been arrested including teenagers.

Brazil's new President, Jair Bolsanaro, has praised the swift response of law and order, calling it appropriate and timely.

As part of his manifesto on which he's already delivering, he's promised a crackdown on crime and will relax firearms laws so ordinary people can own guns to defend themselves.

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06 January 2019, 16:56