BRASILIA – Brazilian President Michel Temer signed on Friday an executive order giving the military control of law enforcement and public safety in the state of Rio de Janeiro, the scene of rising violence in recent months.
“You know that organized crime virtually took control of the state of Rio de Janeiro,” Temer said during the signing ceremony at Planalto palace.
He went on to describe the situation in the state as “a metastasis that expands across the country and threatens the people’s tranquility.”
Temer ordered the federal intervention three days after the end of Carnival.
He said the order would take effect “immediately,” though Brazil’s constitution requires ratification by both houses of Congress.
Congressional leaders have already expressed their support and said that the intervention will be put to a vote next week.
“We cannot continue to passively accept the death of innocents. It is unacceptable to keep burying mothers, fathers, workers, police officers, boys and girls, and that whole neighborhoods, including their schools, become besieged,” Temer said in explaining the reasons behind the order.