Police strike ends before Brazil's Carnival
February 13, 2012
After a week and a half, Bahia police have finally ended their strike. Reuters reports that the 11-day strike ended just in time for Brazil's Carnival celebrations, in which more than 800,000 tourists are expected to flock to Bahia - the nation's third-largest city.
The recent strike induced a crime spike that caused 150 deaths, which is more than twice the homicide rate, according to The Boston Globe. Bahia's police walkout also spurred forces in Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian cities to follow suit, but these efforts appear to be waning now that the initial group has resigned.
Officials in Rio swiftly reacted to the strikes that began on Friday in the nation's capital. When approximately 9,000 civilian police joined the strike with firefighters and military police, the government arrested 17 police officers and signed a decree to prosecute at least 250 police officers and firemen, according to the AFP.
Things seem to be returning to normal in time for Carnival celebrations, but Reuters states that many are still worried if these incidents will affect perceptions of safety for the upcoming 2014 World Cup. Those who are working or studying outside the country can make calls to Brazil using international phone cards to discuss the issue with their friends.