Espirito Santo's secretary of public security Andre Garcia (C) and the state's commander-in-chief of militarized police Nylton Rodrigues (L) attend a press conference in Vitoria, capital of the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil, Feb. 10, 2017. The government of Brazil's state of Espirito Santo may seek to indict 703 military police for mutiny, it said on Friday. The move came almost a week after around 10,000 police officers went on strike on Feb. 4, causing a surge in violence in the state. (Xinhua/Wilton Junior/AGENCIA ESTADO)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The government of Brazil's state of Espirito Santo may seek to indict 703 military police for mutiny, it said on Friday.
The sentences might be eight years to 20 years imprisonment, it added.
The move came almost a week after around 10,000 police officers went on strike on Feb. 4, causing a surge in violence in the state.
In a press conference, Espirito Santo's secretary of public security, Andre Garcia, and the state's commander-in-chief of militarized police, Nylton Rodrigues, said that the police would not receive their pay until the strike ended, and that the families of officers could also be prosecuted for their participation.
"We will bring back discipline and hierarchy to the military police. We will rebuild the military police as a new police which does not turn its back on society," said Garcia, adding that the government had made every effort to dialogue with the police to end the strike.
Rodrigues also said that the military police's justice system would accelerate the process to determine responsibility among the officers. These reports would be sent on to the federal army and if accepted, the police officers found responsible would receive a military trial.
Since last Saturday, the military police of Espirito Santo have been staying at home, demanding greater public investment on security and a salary raise.
The absence of police officers in the state has led to a spike in crime. The local authorities said that at least 121 people have been murdered, over 300 shops have been looted and over 170 cars have been stolen in the state capital of Vitoria since the strike began.
The state's chamber of commerce estimated that the damage due to the looting had risen to at least 300 million reais (about 96 million U.S. dollars).
The situation reached such a level that the federal government has dispatched 1,700 troops to ensure security on the streets, the number which might rise to 3,000 this weekend.