Over 100 Dead Amid Violence, Looting As Brazil Police Strike Sparks Chaos, Anarchy

Tyler Durden's picture

In a tragic development one would expect to see play out in its economically devastated northern neighbor, Venezuela, more than 100 people have been reported killed in violence and looting during a six-day strike by police in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo, resulting in public chaos and anarchy, with schools and businesses closed and public transportation frozen.

Police officers patrol the perimeter at the scene of a fatal shooting in Vila Velha, Espirito Santo, Brazil

In a scene out of a MadMax prequel, the Brazilian army mobilized airborne troops and armored vehicles on Thursday to reinforce the roughly 1,200 soldiers and federal police trying to contain the chaos in the coastal state north of Rio de Janeiro. Most of the violence was centered in the state capital Vitoria, a wealthy port city ringed by golden beaches and filled with mining and petroleum companies.

With the country's economy continuing to crater as a result of record unemployment, soaring inflation, leading to a record high murder rate in the tourism capital Rio, police in Espirito Santo are demanding a pay rise amid an economic downturn that has hammered public finances in Brazil, with many states struggling to ensure even basic health, education and security services.

Police officers patrol the perimeter at the scene of a fatal shooting in Vila Velha, Espirito Santo

As a Reuters report recounts, soldiers patrolled abandoned streets in downtown Vitoria, stopping and frisking the occasional pedestrian against shuttered store fronts. State officials said they needed hundreds more federal troops and members of an elite federal police force to help establish order and make up for the absence of some 1,800 state police who normally patrol Vitoria's metropolitan area.

Policemen carry a body at the Institute of Forensic Science in Vitoria, Espirito Santo

Meanwhile, the army said what it always says when it intervenes in a domestic disturbance: it's only temporary. "The Army's involvement in Espirito Santo is temporary. It is here to make government negotiations possible and bring peace to the population. We are not going to replace the police," General Eduardo Villas Boas said on Twitter.

Army soldiers patrol the streets of Vila Velha, Espirito Santo, Brazil February 9, 2017.

According to Reuters, the state government has not released an official number for killings since police started striking on Saturday for better pay, but a spokeswoman for the union representing police said it had registered 101 homicides. That would be more than six times the state's average homicide rate during the same period last year. The Globo TV network, citing security officials, reported that 200 cars were stolen in Vitoria on a single day, ten times the daily average for the whole state. The state's retail association said businesses have lost 90 million reais ($28.87 million) since police walked off the job.

Army soldiers patrol the streets of Vila Velha, Espirito Santo, Brazil

Echoing the post-apocalyptic scenes in Venezuela, where stores in the Brazilian state did open their doors, they were swarmed by shoppers stocking up as if preparing for a natural disaster.

"Good thing the supermarket opened because I have two young children at home and the food is running out," said salesman Vitor Paulo, weighted down with shopping bags. "It's like we're hostages in our own homes. We're scared to go out."

Representatives of the striking police, including some of the officers' wives, met with state officials on Wednesday to demand that salaries be doubled for every category of officer.

Policemen carry a body at the Institute of Forensic Science in Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil

The union said they have not received a raise in four years. Monthly pay for an officer starts at 2,643 reais ($848), according to Corporal Thiago Bicalho, a spokesman for striking police. "We are going to analyze the offer and see what we can do in reality to advance this situation," said Julio Pompeu, director of the state's human rights secretariat, who is helping the government negotiate with police.

There is hope that normalcy will return: the two sides are scheduled to meet again on Thursday.

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NotApplicable's picture

As always, Chaos does not equal anarchy.

In fact, chaos is a result of the lack of anarchy (self-government).

Escrava Isaura's picture

I thought I would never see this, Vitoria, Capital of Espírito Santo, where I was born, in the news at Zero Hedge.

I need to visit their local newspapers to learn more.


DownWithYogaPants's picture

This is what happens.  Along the ocean the further north you go the darker it gets.  All those states including Rio de Janeiro and above are reputed to be full of crime and violent.  Even the cops are considered just another gang in Rio.

You can see the demographics of ES - Vitoria here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vit%C3%B3ria,_Esp%C3%ADrito_Santo#Demograp...

J S Bach's picture

Echos of Hurricane Katrinia.

When law and order break down... the minorities take full-advantage of the situation to plunder.

Ain't diversity grand?

Quantum Bunk's picture

Brazil is sitting on A THIRD OF A TRILLION in US paper. Why help your own economy when you could offer the US interest free money for the purchase of F 35 fighter jets ?

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) Quantum Bunk Feb 9, 2017 5:27 PM

If they just did WAY moar FREE $HIT FOR EVERYBODY(!!!!) all would be peaceful and good. Just ask and Venezuelan, Cuban, N. Korean, et al.

Pairadimes's picture

Coming to a nearby urban area for everyone soon.

DownWithYogaPants's picture

Dear Mr Quantum Bunk:

You asked why in regards Brazil holding US paper.  Assassination by plane might be part of it.

First there was the guy who was gaining on Dilma in 2014.  Went down in a plane.  That meant she went back into office with all her vulnerabilities in regards the Petrobras milk cow.  Then after she is removed and Temer is in office the guy who was on track to get the dirt on Temer went down in a plane. 

Assassination by plane is a favorite of the CIA.

Take a look at Enrico Mattei: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrico_Mattei  

Mattei ended up dead too when he challenged the oil system.  It's dirty game and I'm not sure how many people are willing to risk their lives.

Handful of Dust's picture

Ever since Lowrenta yelled at the Chicago police so they stand down, murders and violent crime has skyrocketed.


I say let them have it. Until and unlkess the people beg for protection let them fight with each other. It's a tribal tradition.

booboo's picture

Yea, thats the plan, civil unrest, tell the cops to stand down (can't risk the Feds arresting you for CR violation) crank up the unrest and sooner or later the plebes beg for curfews and 24 hour rolling humvee's in their street. Everything is going as planned.

Laddie's picture

And Brasil has tough gun control, so the civilians are helpless and only the cops and the criminals are armed.

The truth is that DIEversity is what makes Brasil violent.

photo is from a demonstration in Recife, Brazil June 20 2013

Just a single video of a 15yr-old white girl being assaulted by girls of color just one of about a dozen I've seen...

America not that much better...for now

acrabbe's picture

they are all the same color... and latin american. what's your agenda here subversive troll?

John_Coltrane's picture

Laddie your comment was spot on regarding the effect of an armed citizenry on good behavior among negroes.

True story:

My friend and I happened to be in "the people's republic" of San Francisco during the Rodney King riots. We thought it might to amusing to suss out what was going on so hopped in our rental car much to the chagrin of our other friends. We adopted a strategy of never stopping right at any stop light, instead holding back with the clear intention of mowing down any negro foolish enough to try anything. They all seemed to sense we weren't docile local "prey" animals.

Anyway, we drove to a high end stereo store which we thought would have major looting and vandelism. To our surprise the store was calm and serene with no attempt to break in nor damage it. Of course, there were two guys with shotguns sitting on the steps just waiting for any looting negroes to try anything. They may not have much analytical ability but coons sense superior power and avoid it as we too had no problem navigating our 2000 pound "bullet" of a car around the city observing the chaos and general looting. One rioter, when asked why they were rioting, offered this:

"we wants axcess to the dollar"

That pretty much summarizes their philosophy.

Escrava Isaura's picture

DownWithYogaPants: further north you go the darker it gets.

Well, geographically speaking, there’s some truth to what you said, but, it’s not quite like that:

60-75% of the population of Espírito Santo have Italian ancestry, making it the state with the highest percentage of descendants of Italians in Brazil.



Oldwood's picture

I think this MUST be a fake news story as we have ALL heard the many wonderful epics on the magnificence of socialism that have liberated countries like Brazil. This story simply cannot be true.

Alok's picture

unfortunately the liberals did a coup d'etat and take the power... that's why this is happening...

Escrava Isaura's picture

You’re confused or intoxicated by the propaganda. Most of Brazil is state capitalism with huge welfare for the rich. Even when the economy is doing bad, the rich in Brazil keeps getting richer. It’s an amazing fate that makes one wonder, where did the rich Brazilians learn how to do that?

Now, the rich in Brazil makes sure that the state bribes the poor with a bag of food, so it can keep the poor away from their throats while they steal as much as they can.

However, the small towns, I mean, very small towns still have some resemblance of small commerce, but they carry lots of stuff made by large corporations in Brazil, so, that too cannot be called socialism, because the producers “workers and craftsman” don’t own what they produce but the investors do, which is called capitalism.


investidorinsano's picture

I live in Vitoria (actually Vila Velha), surprised to see it on ZH too. Just an extra information to the article: the brazilian military police is not allowed to go on strike, so the current "strike" was actually started by wives and family members from police officers camping on the gates of police quarters and "blocking" them from leaving to work. It's a ridiculous, yes, but somehow it worked as an excuse in the first days. Now it really turned into a strike, with many officers refusing to leave to the streets despite orders from superior officers. News broke this afternoon that 300 police officers are going to be prosecuted by a military police court, and they could be imprisioned by 8 years and/or expelled from the corporation. And just this afternoon, the "civil" police decided to gave the state governor a list of demands or they will go on strike too in 2 weeks. Despite of these escalations from civil and militar state police, things started to calm down on streets today with army and federal police force taking care of security. Most people are still not leaving their homes, tough. I'm working from home this whole week, but might get back into the office tomorow or next monday.


Now, the real bad news is: this "clever" usage of family and wifes by the military police to go on strike was noticed by police officers from other states, and there's rumors that there will be a strike on Rio and Minas Gerais, two of the biggest states in Brazil. Espirito Santo is small and the federal forces already here should be enough to calm down things soon, but if this happens in Rio, Minas or São Paulo, it will be total mayhem.

Sabibaby's picture

Thanks for the info. Stay safe and please keep us updated.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Praia da Costa?

Anyway, very telling the clever way (wives blocking the cars) how these things get out of hand as well as how fast things falls apart. And there’s no shortage of oil.

It’s scary if it spreads to Rio.

Bottom line: The cops want 700 more hires and a raise, because they haven’t had a salary increase in 7 years.

Thanks for the “local” update.


HRH Feant's picture
HRH Feant (not verified) investidorinsano Feb 9, 2017 6:04 PM

Wow that is a crazy way to get around a no-strike law!

Rubicon727's picture

Why do I suspect that neo-liberalism and a good dose of American financial interests are a major part of Venezeula's problems?

Mustafa Kemal's picture

Yeh, people like to hammer Venezeulas socialism for their ills, but alot of it appear to come from the Saudi Oil war and

US Sanctions

Blankone's picture

I just note that the police are not striking for anything better for the general population but to get "theirs".

The police will adapt to the prosecution of their own and may do so in a less benign manner.  Also I suspect a faction of the general population may start to organize in small pods at first and then take action to take what they need or for profit and maybe some to fight back with violence.  But then I do not know the social structure well.

Both Brazil and Venezuela have great natural resources but internal corruption has kept them 3rd world (once 2nd world).  As they decline the outside raiders will move in and begin raping the country.  Seems to have started in the financial sector already. 

golden kafir's picture

should make for lots of new videos on liveleak

RagaMuffin's picture

That is a miserable feeling. If you have kin there i hope they are safe.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

EI, you have my condolences. I hope your family is well.

DownWithYogaPants's picture

I have to hope the right people are killing the right people.  Hopefully the criminal scores are being settled first.

Quantum Bunk's picture

Brazil is sitting on A THIRD OF A TRILLION in US paper

besnook's picture

but anarchy can cause chaos. it is like libertarianism promotes criminal enterprise as bad people chase out good people.

Ckierst1's picture

Libertarianism also allows a populace to be well armed if they so desire to protect their individual natural rights so they can establish a self-sufficient community vigilante structure to surpress criminal activity and maintain order until just and acceptable government can be established or restored.  I give up, why don't these good people form a vigilante committee in their neighborhood, hmmmm?

Quantum Bunk's picture

Brazil is sitting on A THIRD OF A TRILLION in US paper

Got The Wrong No's picture

Liberalism promotes criminal enterprise.......There I fixed it for you.

NotApplicable's picture

No, chaos is caused by competing groups of people fighting for control over everyone. Anarchy is nothing but everyone minding their own business.

In an anarchic society, the worst possible outcome is the formation of a government.

besnook's picture

anarchy and libertarianism are both utopian fantasies that deny the predatory nature of man. like a dog, man needs to kept on a leash so he doesn't bite his friends while he fights to be leader of the pack and have first dibs on the food and bitches.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

The Anarchist took a beating during the Spanish Civil War and since then I have used that as an example of one of its primal flaws. Kind of like herding cats.

However, with the Blockchain it appears that Anarchy may prove to a be a more successful system in the future.  


Chaos is the end result of government going bat shit rama lama ding dong Klingon cocksucker from Uranus zipperhead motherfucker crazy.

barysenter's picture

Thats the last thing Hillary said before going into rehab with Weiner.

BabaLooey's picture



I thought the LIMPICS was supposed to fix all of this?

Stunned here. 

Now where the Sam Hill is that Escaguava Empenana?

I'm sure he has a good explanation for this bat guano.....

Quantum Bunk's picture

Brazil is sitting on A THIRD OF A TRILLION in US paper

John_Coltrane's picture

Well, with that much paper Brazil, unlike Venezuela, should be able to wipe their collective asses for awhile.

Did you misspell "sitting" when you meant "shitting"?

Is that what you mean or is this some financial crap about the state of the T-bond market?

Are you currently in a superposition of Bunk and not Bunk? Are you expecting your wavefunction to collapse?

Mustafa Kemal's picture

He's tunneling Schroedinger's bunk

Consuelo's picture



Probably not worth expanding on right here right now, but your statemet is !00% correct in so many ways.

Raffie's picture

It will spread for sure. Mexico is the choke point for this crap.

44_shooter's picture

Thank you for getting it.


jldpc's picture

Coming to Mexamerica soon enough!



Coming soon to you and me too.

Quantum Bunk's picture

Brazil is sitting on A THIRD OF A TRILLION in US paper.