Brazil oil workers begin strike in new blow to government
admin • May 31, 2018 • 2377
An oil worker points to a patch on his shirt that reads: “We are not for sale”, near the entrance to Petrobras Alberto Pasqualini Refinery, in Canoas, Brazil May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Diego Vara
Brazilian oil workers began a 72-hour strike on Wednesday (May 30) in a new blow to President Michel Temer following a nationwide trucker protest that has strangled Latin America’s largest economy for over a week.
The strike affecting several rigs, refineries, plants, and ports is the latest challenge for state-led oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, whose shares have tumbled nearly 30 percent in two weeks over fears that political interference would unwind more investor-focused policies.
Late on Tuesday (May 29), Reuters reported that Temer was considering an overhaul of a market-based fuel pricing policy at Petrobras, which could provoke even more investor flight. Temer’s office said in a Wednesday morning statement that he would preserve the policy.
The oil sector strike included workers on at least 20 oil rigs in the lucrative Campos basin of 46 operated by Petrobras, as the company is known, according to FUP, Brazil’s largest oil workers union. Petrobras said any disruption would not have an immediate major impact on its production or overall operations.
Brazil produces about 2.1 million barrels of oil per day, making it Latin America’s largest crude producer.
The oil strike was declared illegal by Brazil’s top labor court on Tuesday after Petrobras argued it was about politics rather labor issues. FUP said it had not been informed of the ruling. — Reuters
Convicted Rio drug dealer Clauvino da Silva, 42, was serving a decades-long sentence when he was caught trying to break out of jail last Saturday (August 03), disguised as his daughter.
He was caught wearing an eerie plastic mask, a long black wig and women’s clothes, including a bra.
On Tuesday (Aug 6), however, Rio prison officials said Silva had been found dead in his cell in a high-security unit in the state’s Bangu prison complex.
“The inmate appears to have hanged himself with a bed sheet,” Rio’s prison authority said in a statement, adding that an investigation had been opened.
The death of Silva is an embarrassment for Rio’s prison authorities, which had initially cheered their actions in preventing his unusual escape plan. He is the latest prisoner to die in Brazil’s jails, which have become a major headache for new tough-on-crime President Jair Bolsonaro.
A gang leader attempted to break out of a Rio de Janeiro prison while dressed as his teenage daughter, Brazilian authorities said on Sunday (August 3).
Clauvino da Silva dressed in his visiting daughter’s clothing and donned a wig and silicon mask as he attempted to escape Gericino prison, but guards became suspicious by his nervous and erratic behavior.
His plan seemed to include leaving his 19-year-old daughter in jail. Police are investigating her role as a possible accomplice.
Rio’s State Secretary of Prison Administration released a video of da Silva removing the costume after he was caught, plus a number of photographs detailing the mask and clothing. He has since been transferred to a maximum-security prison and will likely face disciplinary measures.
According to authorities, da Silva is a leader within Red Command, one of Brazil’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations. (REUTERS)
A bloody clash between two prison gangs on Monday (July 29) left at least 57 inmates dead with 16 of them decapitated, authorities in the state of Para said, the latest deadly clash as Brazil’s government struggles to control the country’s overcrowded jails.
State authorities said the riot began around 7 a.m. local time (1000 GMT) at a prison in the northern city of Altamira, and involved rival gangs.
Prisoners belonging to the Comando Classe A gang set fire to a cell containing inmates from the rival Comando Vermelho, or Red Command, gang, Para’s state government said in a statement.
Most of the dead died in the fire, they said, while two guards were taken hostage, but later released.
Elected on a tough-on-crime message, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has benefited from a sharp drop in homicides so far this year. Nonetheless, endemic prison violence has been a stubborn public security challenge in one of the world’s most violent countries.
Brazil’s justice ministry said in a statement that it was working with Para authorities to identify those behind the latest attack, adding it had opened some space in the federal prison system where those gang leaders would be transferred.
Brazil’s incarcerated population has surged eight-fold in three decades to around 750,000 inmates, the world’s third-highest tally. Prison gangs originally formed to protect inmates and advocate for better conditions, but have come to wield vast power that reaches far beyond prison walls. (REUTERS)
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