Sí£o Paulo, Brazil, Refuses Federal Help After Gang Attacks Leaving 9 Dead

Gang violence that is terrorizing São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest and richest state, may require emergency measures from the federal government, but local authorities must request help, signaled Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Over 70 coordinated attacks Wednesday, July 12, on police stations, buses and buildings killed at least nine people in São Paulo state. The most part of attacks occurred in early morning, but continued during the day with less intensity.

Still in the morning President Lula da Silva said measures are needed to prevent attacks against common citizens, government staff and public and private property.

"We must take measures," he said following what seems a resumption of a new offensive against the police by members of a prison-based gang.

"The bandits are provoking the police, terrorizing civil society, and we must react within the frame of the law, but we need to agree with the São Paulo authorities".

A police officer and his sister were among those slain in a score of coordinated pre-dawn attacks. Also killed were two security guards.

Wednesday’s assaults were presumed to have been launched by members of the First Capital Command (PCC), a ruthless prison-based gang that controls drug and weapons trafficking in the slums of São Paulo and other cities.

The new attacks came two months after the organization launched a big offensive, which included some 300 attacks on police stations, buses and businesses that left more than 130 people dead.

Among those killed in May were 41 policemen and prison guards, four civilians and 79 people authorities described as "suspected" gangsters.

Local and international human rights organizations decried what they said were rampant abuses by vengeance-seeking police during that crackdown, including the summary execution of suspects.

This Wednesday, July 12, attackers caused extensive damage burning down at least 18 buses in several cities and firing homemade bombs and Molotov cocktails at two supermarkets, a bank branch and two used-car lots.

At least three police stations and two Military Police posts were also targeted, it was officially reported in São Paulo.

The attacks came just hours after authorities announced the arrest of Emivaldo Silva Santos, a reputed PCC kingpin in the industrial zone known as ABC Paulista.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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