President Michel Temer announced on Friday, February 16, that the army would take over command of security forces in the state of Rio de Janeiro due to rising violent crime rates. Temer ordered the emergency measures after meeting with the governor of Rio de Janeiro the night before. Under the new measures, the military will take over control of all security forces in the state, as well as firefighters and intelligence groups. The federal forces will reportedly remain in control until the end of 2018.
Rio de Janeiro has been suffering from rising violence since 2016. Almost 500 shootings occurred in January 2018 alone in the city of Rio. This phenomenon is largely attributed to fighting between heavily armed security forces and criminal gangs in Rio's favelas. Major protests broke out on February 6 after a child was killed by a stray bullet during a police operation.
The recent deterioration of security conditions in Rio sheds light on the failure of the state's security polices - notably the ''pacification'' strategy, which involves the deployment of Police Pacification Units (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora; UPP) - to be effective in crime-ridden urban areas.
Individuals in Rio are advised to avoid any areas where security operations are taking place, to avoid all favelas (slums) more generally, and to adhere to any instructions issued by security forces.
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