Brazil’s Civil War: 81 Killed, Hundreds of Hostages, Curfew Considered

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met this Monday, May 15, with the Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, to discuss the measures that will be taken in reaction to a series of prison attacks in the state of São Paulo and other instances of violence.

One of the measures to contain the wave of violence in the state was announced this weekend. The minister of Justice placed the four thousand members of the National Force at the disposal of the São Paulo government to help in combating the violence.

The attacks began on Friday, May 12. and so far have left at least 81 people dead. Over 56 buses have been burned. There have been 180 attacks on government buildings and civil and military police posts around the state.

The fatal victims include more than 30 police officers. More than 4 thousand buses failed to circulate today in São Paulo out of fear of the wave of violence. 30% of students didn’t go to school. In some neighborhoods store owner afraid of violence closed their doors.

According to the State of São Paulo Bank Employees’ Union, around 18 bank branches have been targets of acts of vandalism since the attacks began. Some of the branches were set ablaze by Molotov cocktails.

Authorities had an emergency meeting in which they considered the imposition of a curfew starting at 8 pm this Monday. São Paulo governor Cláudio Lembo and his aides continued refuse to accept Federal help while saying that everything is under control when there all evidences to the contrary.

According to the latest partial reports, there were 82 rebellions in prisons throughout the state of São Paulo. In dozens of these jails the situation is still being controlled by the prisoners who are holding 273 hostages.

The attacks also spread to the states of Mato Grosso and Paraná, where prison rebellions occurred.

BrM, ABr

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