Lula militarizes Brazil's main ports, airports amid rising crime

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

© APA | Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

# 02 November 2023 01:00 (UTC +04:00)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday temporarily militarized security at some of the country's most important ports and airports, as he seeks to tame rising crime after several deadly incidents in Rio de Janeiro state, APA reports citing Reuters.

Lula said soldiers will work with federal police officers to manage security operations at Latin America's largest port and airport: the port of Santos, in Sao Paulo, and its main airport Guarulhos. Soldiers will also be deployed to the port of Itaguai in Rio de Janeiro state and Rio's Galeao airport.

Those ports and airports are key logistical hubs for booming cocaine exports to Europe, while also receiving contraband like high-caliber weapons that contribute to street violence.

The temporary measure, which will end in May 2024, comes after high-profile killings in Rio de Janeiro, where powerful drug lords, violent vigilante mafias known as "militias" and deadly cops have contributed to a highly complex security dynamic that is feeding a perception Lula is soft on crime.