RIO DE JANEIRO – Members of Rio de Janeiro state’s civilian law enforcement agency protested on Thursday at this Brazilian metropolis’ main airport, holding up signs with messages threatening to strike during the Feb. 24-28 Rio Carnival.
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?”
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 state last year.
The protest by members of Rio state’s civilian police force, whose main function is to investigate crimes, coincides with the deployment of 9,000 soldiers in that state amid demands for back pay by the militarized police force, which is responsible for law and order.
Threats of police strikes are 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.
Earlier this month, a strike by militarized police in the neighboring state of Espirito Santo unleashed a crime wave accompanied by nearly 150 deaths.