RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Brazil on Monday sent 1,200 troops to a coastal province to fill the vacuum of law enforcement caused by protests of military police officers' families.
In all, 1,000 members of the armed forces and 200 members of the national guard will be patrolling the streets in the southeastern state of Espirito Santo.
Families of military police officers on Saturday started a protest against low payment for the officers. They blocked the entrances of the police precincts and stopped policemen from leaving.
Due to the absence of the military police that plays a crucial role in maintaining public security, violence skyrocketed. Over the weekend, 62 people were murdered in the state capital of Vitoria and its metro areas.
In Brazil, police forces are under state administration. Civil police handle inquiries and investigations while military police are responsible for security.
The military police, a leftover of the military dictatorship years, are submitted to regulations much similar to the armed forces. Therefore, military police officers are not allowed to engage in strikes.