Brazilian Policemen Try to Invade Congress to Get Better Salaries

Policemen from several states in BrasíliaIn Brazil, about 100 members of the Civil and Military Police from various states tried to invade the House of Representatives in Brazilian capital Brasília in an attempt to force the deputies to vote on a constitutional amendment that would establish entrance salaries for all categories of law enforcement officials, soldiers and officers.

Congressional guards  went into action and although there was the beginning of a physical confrontation, things quickly calmed down because an amendment was approved.

However, the approved legislation was amended to the point where a number of controversial aspects of the issue will have to be decided by further legislation, which, among other things, would establish the entrance salaries.

The government is against putting exact amounts in the constitution. The original draft bill, before it got amended, set the entrance salaries at 3,500 reais (US$ 1,962) for soldiers and 7,000 (US$ 3,924) reais for officers.

Sixteen Years of Fraud

Meanwhile, Brazil’s Federal Police have broken up a criminal ring that has been illegally helping candidates cheat on civil service exams around the country for over 16 years. A routine investigation of candidates who passed a 2009 exam for the Federal Police discovered the criminals.

The gang charged between 50,000 reais (US$ 28,000) and 150,000 reais (US$ 84,100) to get candidates approved. The charge for the Federal Police exam that led to the discovery of the ring was US$ 100,000 (US$ 56,000). Six agents who were scheduled to graduate and become officers this Friday, June 18, have been dismissed and charged with fraud.

Twelve members of the criminal ring have been arrested. Among them is the owner of a private university in São Paulo and a member of the Federal Highway Patrol.

The Federal Police report that they have discovered fraud in this year’s exams of the Bar Association (OAB) and a 1994 exam for tax inspectors (Receita Federal). Other civil service exams are under investigation (for the government Intelligence Agency and the National Civil Aviation Agency, among others).

Racial Equality

Earlier this week, the Brazilian senate approved a Statute of Racial Equality, which means that it will now go to president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to be signed into law.

Some of the most controversial articles in the statute, creating a quota system in political parties and specific policies in health care for Afro-Brazilians were removed from the final text.

The statute took seven years to get congressional approval. Deputy Edison Santos, a former head of the Special Secretariat for Racial Equality Policies, declared that the statute as approved consists of precepts that meet the expectations of Brazil’s Negro community.

ABr

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