Latin America & Caribbean

Brazilian city of Vitoria hit by police strike

Men fix the broken shutter of their shop after burglars entered in Vila Velha, near Vitoria, eastern Brazil, on 6 February Image copyright AFP
Image caption Dozens of shops have been looted in and around Vitoria

Two hundred federal officers in Brazil are being deployed to the city of Vitoria, in the eastern state of Espirito Santo, where police went on strike on Saturday over pay.

There have been 51 murders in Greater Vitoria since Saturday, compared with four in January, the police union says.

Schools remained closed on Monday and local football matches were also postponed due to the spike in violence.

Officials said they would sit down for talks but only once the strike ended.

Relatives of the striking officers have been demonstrating in front of police stations as the officers themselves are barred from protesting.

They are demanding better pay for military police officers, including additional pay for night work and danger money.

The officers stopped patrolling the streets of the city on Saturday morning.

The commander of the force has been sacked and a new commander has been tasked with "restoring order and discipline", Espirito Santo security chief Andre Garcia said.

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