Brazil to deploy 25,000 soldiers amid pre-election violence

Brazil will deploy more than 25,000 soldiers for municipal elections Sunday, Defence Minister Raul Jungmann said, amid a wave of political violence that has left three dead in recent days.

Soldiers will be deployed to 15 of Brazil's 26 states to guard against more violence, after attacks killed two candidates for local office, in Rio de Janeiro and the central state of Goias, and a campaign coordinator in the southern state of Parana.

Jungmann attributed the "security crisis in some states" to the country's dire economic situation. Brazil is struggling through a deep recession, with rising unemployment that has left 12 million jobless, according to new statistics released Friday.

At least 6,500 of the soldiers will be deployed in Rio de Janeiro state, with 3,000 more on call.

In the city of Rio de Janeiro, armed militias and drug traffickers have for years extorted money to allow politicians to campaign in slum areas under their control.

A recent count by the O Globo newspaper showed incidents of political violence in at least 12 Brazilian states since November 2015.

Latin America's largest country holds first-round municipal elections Sunday. They are the first elections since President Michel Temer of the centre-right Brazilian Democratic Movement Party took power, after leftist former president Dilma Rousseff was removed from office August 31.

Last update: Sat, 01/10/2016 - 01:36
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