Security high in Fortaleza as Brazilian city reels from gang attacks

8 January 2019

Security was high in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza on January 07 after criminal gangs rampaged through the city, highlighting the challenges new President Jair Bolsonaro faces in quelling drug-related violence and halting a record wave of murders in the country.

The state of Ceara has been rocked by five nights of attacks including a bomb that exploded under a highway, torched buses, and assaults against banks and police barracks. Security officials believe the attacks were triggered by the new state government's plan to undercut the power of gangs by sending prisoners to whatever jails have space to take them in, ending a longstanding practice of separating them according to gang affiliation.