The Brazilian government deployed 300 troops to Ceará state, including to Fortaleza, on Friday, January 4, to curb gang violence amid a wave of related attacks in recent days. Officials believe that the attacks - including dozens targeting banks, buses, and stores - have been organized by criminal gangs to protest increasingly stringent security measures in the state's prisons. Over 50 people have been arrested for their suspected involvement in the violence as of Sunday, January 6.
Security forces have erected dozens of checkpoints around Fortaleza. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near checkpoints in Fortaleza and other cities in Ceará state over the coming weeks.
Newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro has pledged to implement a new anti-crime policy nationwide, which includes expanding private gun ownership and the use of lethal force for police.
Individuals in Ceará state, particularly those in Fortaleza, are advised to remain vigilant at all times, report any suspicious objects or behavior to the police, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities. Conceal conspicuous signs of wealth to avoid attracting the attention of would-be thieves. Note that criminals are often armed and never offer resistance in the event of a mugging.
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