Tension over salaries between uniformed police and state officials in Rio de Janeiro increased Monday, with Brazilian President Michel Temer authorizing use of armed forces personnel to patrol city streets. Meanwhile, similar tensions in the neighboring state of Espírito Santo seemed to ease. In Rio, wives and mothers of uniformed officers began blocking police buildings over the weekend, with members of many units refusing to cross picket lines. The state has delayed salary payments for most police officers because of a deep financial crisis. Worries over policing are accumulating with the annual Carnival celebration less than two weeks away and thousands of foreign tourists already pouring into the city. State and federal officials have promised to find ways to speed up salary payments. In the Espírito Santo state capital of Vitória, by contrast, things were returning to normal as of Monday, according to press reports. State officials and representatives of uniformed police officers reached agreement over the weekend on a systematic review of salary policies. Officials said police were gradually returning to duty, with stores willing to re-open their doors after a week of looting and regular transportation services restored. Most police officers had refused to work last week because of a strike over frozen salaries.
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