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Brazil to send some 10,000 troops, police to combat crime in Rio

Staff Writer | July 29, 2017
The Brazilian government said that it will dispatch 10,240 soldiers and police officers to help combat a crime wave in the country's southeastern state of Rio de Janeiro.
Raul Jungmann
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The dispatch, including 8,500 from the military, 620 from the National Security Force, and 1,120 from the Federal Highway Police, will help local police tackle a serious public security crisis, said Defense Minister Raul Jungmann.

The troops will be stationed mostly in Rio's metro areas, but may be sent to other regions in the state if necessary, Jungmann said, adding they might remain there until 2018.

"We don't rule out the possibility of the military's patrolling streets," said Jungmann.

The measure came after Rio de Janeiro State Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao and Rio de Janeiro City Mayor Marcelo Crivella asked for federal help to combat rising crime amid a flagging economy and state bankruptcy.

Brazilian President Michel Temer said in a video that the presence of troops in the state was necessary to "ensure public order."

The state of Rio de Janeiro is facing a dire financial situation which has contributed to the rise in crimes.

Cargo theft has increased, and murders of police officers have hit an all-time high this year with 91 police officers murdered in the state so far.