Insecurity in Pernambuco

The atmosphere shifted greatly today on 15th May in Pernambuco, especially in its capital ofRecife.

Due to pressure, dissatisfaction with pay and working conditions, especially amid the evident tension of the fast approaching World Cup; the military police illegally went on strike, leading to apparent chaos in the region.

Events kicked off last night in the districts of Abreu eLimaand Caetés, with looting and arrastoes (in which a number of people are mugged at once, usually by blocking a road full of traffic). This spread to the next day when people saw how this worked while the police were on strike and the looting, assaults and arrastoes continued and increased.

Many shops closed, schools and universities were cancelled, and panic ran riot among the citizens ofRecife. Shocking photos and videos circulated of car robberies and looted shops, and the streets became empty as the majority of people remained indoors to stay safe.

Due to the strike of the police, the army were called in to help control the situation, and will act as security and to keep public order until the end of the strike.

Although events such as these are rare in the region of Pernambuco and many civilians say they haven’t seen the situation this bad in their whole life time, and it will undoubtedly be resolved soon; it is a wake up call to visitors for the World Cup that security may be more a necessity than a luxury.

It is essential to know the type of security required, be it a bullet-proof car or even personal security, and also the best places to obtain it. This is where LIRNEO come in, to give well-informed guidance on security in the city in which they are based, and have first-hand experience living in.

So don’t be afraid or put off, but get as much advice as you can, from people who really know what they are talking about!

Lucas Lacombe & Ricardo Demarchi

MEI Associate Directors, North East Brazil

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