Rio police threaten to strike during Carnival

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 17 (IANS) Members of the civilian law enforcement agency protested at the Brazilian airport here, holding up signs with messages threatening to strike during the February 24-28 Rio Carnival, a media report said.

Local media showed a photo of one sign held up by officers early Thursday at the Rio de Janeiro-Galeao International Airport that read, “Police Strike In Carnival: Do You Know That”, Efe news reported.

Threats of the strikes were of especially great concern in the lead-up to the Rio Carnival, whose 2017 edition is expected to attract nearly 1 million tourists, according to official estimates.

The protesters also handed out flyers denouncing their work conditions and salary delays and stating that more than 100 police officers were killed in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The protest by members of Rio’s civilian police force, whose main function is to investigate crimes, coincides with the deployment of 9,000 soldiers here amid demands for back pay by the military police force, which is responsible for law and order.

Earlier in February, a strike by the military police in the neighbouring state of Espirito Santo unleashed a crime wave accompanied by nearly 150 deaths.