BRASILIA – Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved early Tuesday a government decree that puts the army in charge of the security of Rio de Janeiro until the end of 2018.
The measure was approved, after a debate lasting over seven hours, with 340 votes in favor, 72 against and one abstention.
The decree now requires the approval of the Senate, where it was scheduled to be voted upon on Tuesday.
The decree was passed on Friday by President Michel Temer, but it has yet to be endorsed by the Legislature.
The executive order gives the military control of law enforcement and public safety in the state of Rio de Janeiro, the scene of rising violence in recent months.
Last year, violence claimed 6,731 lives, including 100 policemen and 10 children killed by stray bullets, in Rio de Janeiro.
President of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia, a conservative legislator from Rio de Janeiro, defended the approval of the measure, referring to it as the biggest measure to tackle organized crime.
Maia further said that such a military intervention, the first since the 1988 Constitution, has become urgent and necessary.
Lawmaker Laura Carneiro, of the Brazilian Democratic Movement party, during her intervention before the lower house, called for more federal resources for the project in order for it to realize its objectives.
According to data presented by her, the budget for public security in the state of Rio de Janeiro for 2018 was 8 billion reais ($2.47 billion), of which 96 percent corresponds to personnel expenses.