Looters take advantage of Brazilian police strike in World Cup host city
Looting broke out in Salvador de Bahia, one of the host cities for this year’s World Cup in Brazil, as police went on strike for a second day Wednesday.
Radio reported that a supermarket and bank were pillaged overnight in the absence of local police, who walked out late Tuesday in Brazil’s third-largest city, located in the country’s northeast.
Federal police have been drafted in to provide security and more are on the way.
“Two hundred federal police officers already have arrived,” said Isaac Jorge, a Salvador city spokesman. “All told, the force could total some 5,000.”
Jorge said the government was caught off-guard by the strike “because we were in the process of holding talks with workers when the walkout was called.”
The spokesman added that city officials “remain open to dialogue” with the striking officers.
Salvador has some 2.5 million inhabitants and is one of a dozen cities hosting the World Cup.
The games get under way on June 12, with the final to be held in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]