this Ongoing unrest in the Brazilian resort town of El Salvador threatened the holding of the national holiday – the world-famous carnival . The wave of violence triggered by a police strike demanding higher wages and social benefits.
Next week in the largest cities of Brazil to be held the annual national festival, which will last for several days. This year the carnival will visit, in total, half a million foreign tourists. However, the fun may not take place due to the outbreak of violence in El Salvador, located in the northeastern state of Bahia.
After local police have declared an indefinite strike, demanding improvements to working conditions and remuneration, El Salvador faced a wave of street crime, according to Latin American news Agency NNN. During the nine days of the strike, there have been 123 murders. Fearing looters and rioters, shop owners turned to trade.
By order of the Federal authorities, the city entered army units, but to set security on the streets they failed. The city still retains an atmosphere of fear and tension. The guards, leaving citizens without the protection of themselves and then become participants in the clashes. So, yesterday there was a skirmish between the troops and strikers by the police, barricaded in the building of the State Assembly. As a result of the incident six people were injured.
City courts continue to work, but barely have time to cope with the flood of cases, and therefore dismantle only emergency cases. Meanwhile, the Union of school teachers made a recommendation to secondary schools to delay the start of the new academic year. To state educational agencies have joined and some private schools.
The chaos in El Salvador has dealt a severe blow to the tourism industry and entertainment, which plays an important role in the economy of the city. Cancelled dozens of concerts and theatrical performances that were to come before and during the carnival. The enormous losses and complain travel company, hoping the festive period from 17 to 22 February to disrupt good profits. According to the local branch of the Association of travel agencies of Brazil (ABAV), now repealed 10% previously sold travel packages for this month.
Meanwhile, the talks between the leaders of the strike and government officials, held under the mediation of the local Catholic Bishop, was not a success and were suspended yesterday without any explanation. Governor of Bahia Jacques Wagner stated that from their side had done its best, and the tax law does not allow him to offer the strikers better deals. He urged the police to accept the government’s proposal to increase their salaries by 6.5%. But at the same time assured that the celebration of carnival in Salvador will be held as usual, and security in the city will provide law enforcement officers from neighboring cities.
However, to expect great fun. Due to the escalation of violence in El Salvador, the American and the French Consulate advised their citizens not to make unnecessary trips to the Bahia until then, until the situation is normalized.
Note that the strikers put the pig to the authorities, not only at the carnival. The unrest in El Salvador may adversely affect the conduct of the confederations Cup and the FIFA world Cup, which should take place here in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The event will take place only if the city administration will be able to return the security situation to normal.