Salvador/Bahia – As a local Police strike enters its fifth day, over 2000 policeman remain quartered inside the State Legislative Assembly building in the state of Bahia. Around the city, some other 2.000 army soldiers patrol the streets of Salvador, Brazil’s 3rd largest city. Salvador is one of the nation’s main hotspot for tourists. Yet, the strike and its aftermath challenges the local estate’s ability to bring peace and avoid adverse publicity, this, just days before the carnival celebrations, an important event for both the local culture and economy. Since it alone, brings over two million visitors to the city, sorting the situation out became both an economic and a political challenge for the local government.
Looting and death spree
Including a homeless mother of a six months old baby, mortally wounded by a gun shot in the streets of salvador yesterday, (feb 3rd) the total death toll for the last 30 hours remain uncertain. While some sources account a total of 29 murders, others say it can reach numbers as high as 40 and 54 for the whole period, even though the numbers seems to have stopped increasing since the arrival of the Army and the Federal Forces last Thursday night. Around the whole estate, which is a little larger than France, accounting totals of both murder and looting are even harder to acquire.
Social media vs Local TV
Using the Twitter tag #grevepmba, internet users around the Estate have exchanged information and questioned the official version of facts. Some still suggest that while the security forces are present in the wealthier parts of the capital the poorer areas are left at their sort, been poorly served by the security forces. Small towns in the countryside are also been affected by the strike yet clear information about details is not available as information about the capital is. Brazilian president Dilma Ruseff has decreed a Resolução de Lei e order (Resolution of law and order) that allow the use by the Estate of the Army as well as the Federal Forces to maintain public order.
Read more about it at ABC news website.