Country Risk

Brazilian criminal gangs launch arson attacks across state of Ceara; similar assaults in other states likely

07 January 2019


Minister of Justice Sergio Moro authorised on 4 January the 30-day deployment of approximately 300 National Guard soldiers to the state of Ceará in an attempt to quell a wave of criminal damage apparently triggered by government plans to change prison conditions.

The authorities have registered at least 115 incidents of criminal damage since 2 January, including arson attacks on buses, bank branches, supermarkets, government buildings, and a wholesale fuel distributor. An improvised explosive device destroyed a telecoms mast in Limoeiro do Norte, cutting mobile phone signals to 12 cities in the state. Another damaged part of a viaduct on the BR-020 motorway in Caucaia, causing its closure.

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