Transmission tower blown up in wave of violence in Brazil
SAO PAULO (AP) — Criminal gangs armed with explosives destroyed a transmission tower and a car dealership as a wave of violence unleashed more than 10 days ago in Brazil’s northeastern state of Ceara shows no sign of abating, law enforcement authorities said Saturday.
The state’s public security department said 194 attacks against banks, police stations and other public buildings have taken place over the past 11 days. It said that at least 150 suspects have been taken into custody.
The attacks have occurred in Fortaleza, the capital, and in close to 50 other cities.
Authorities say the attacks were ordered by organized crime groups in retaliation for plans to impose tighter controls in the state’s prisons. Brazil’s prison gangs are powerful and their reach extends outside the country’s penitentiaries.
On Friday, Ceara Gov. Camilo Santana told reporters he was preparing a program that will reward anyone who provides police with information that leads to the arrest of people involved in the planning and execution of the attacks. Details of the program were not revealed.