Brazil's Congress approves military intervention in Rio
Brazil's congress approved a decree to put the military in charge of Rio de Janeiro's security forces on Tuesday as soldiers and police spread out throughout in the city to combat rising crime, Daily Mail reports.
The military officially took over Rio's police on Friday, but the presidential decree still needed congressional approval. Brazil's lower house approved the measure early Tuesday and the Senate closed the matter shortly before midnight.
Details of the plan are still to be announced, though, generating doubts even among supporters of the move.
Overnight, the armed forces and police spread out in Rio in the first major operation since the change in command. They took up positions on major roads that connect Rio with the rest of the country in an effort to prevent drugs, illegal arms and stolen goods from entering the city, said Col. Roberto Itamar, a military spokesman. Around 3,000 members of the armed forces were involved.
Armored vehicles rolled through the streets of one neighborhood on Guanabara Bay on Tuesday, while boats patrolled the waters. Soldiers and police set up checkpoints and searched everyone leaving or entering during the morning commute.
By Tuesday evening, 11 people had been detained and six guns, six grenades and a large quantity of drugs had been seized, the state security department said.
The operation was planned before the new military commander took over, and he has yet to lay out his plan for tackling the wave of violence in Rio. But Itamar said the military intervention would go beyond the mere use of soldiers in the streets.