Gunther Rudzit, who has a Ph.D. in political science and has worked at Brazil’s Ministry of Defense, says that the present wave of attacks by criminal elements in the state of São Paulo cannot be called a "civil war."
Even though there have now been 94 deaths since Friday night (May 12), and public transportation, banks and police stations continue to be attacked (close to 100 buses were burned down), Rudzit says "A civil war is when a large part of the population participates in an uprising against the government. That is not what is happening in São Paulo. What we have here is a public security problem."
Rudzit goes on to say that the violence should not last very long. "These are criminals who have their economic base in drug traffic. The present level of violence is very bad for business."
Asked about the need for federal assistance in dealing with the problem, Rudzit says it is not certain that federal forces would make a difference because São Paulo has a police force of 100,000 men. "But this is something that could be exploited politically," he said.
In conclusion, Rudzit pointed out that the criminal group, First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital) (PCC), which is being blamed for the attacks may not be behind all the violence. Authorities have not confirmed that the PCC is leading the attacks.
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