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A policeman fires tear gas during a clash with drug offenders, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Feb. 23, 2017 (AP photo by Andre Penner).

Brazil’s Police Strike Crisis Highlights Security Reform Failures

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Last month, police in Brazil’s southeastern state of Espirito Santo went on strike over pay and working conditions, creating a security vacuum that allowed for widespread violence and looting. The police reported 143 killings over a 10-day period, and the government deployed federal troops to stave off further violence in advance of Carnival celebrations at the end of February. In an email interview, Dennis Pauschinger, a sociologist and expert on Brazil’s security sector based at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland, discusses how the crisis speaks to larger problems plaguing Brazil’s security sector.

WPR: What are some of the factors that gave rise to the strike, and to what degree are they local issues or reflective of broader issues facing the country’s police forces? ...

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