Minas Gerais government can’t reach deal with mutinous police officers

Minas mutinous police officers
Police battalion in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. Photo: Vanessa Volk/Shurterstock

Representatives of the Minas Gerais state government met with police unions who staged a strike last week, but the two sides were unable to reach a deal regarding salary demands. 

Disgruntled law enforcement agencies want Governor Romeu Zema to abide by his 2019 promise of a multi-year plan to increase wages of police officers and firefighters: 13 percent in 2020, and 12 percent in each of the two following years. The first part of the deal was fulfilled — but officers now want the remaining 24-percent raise. 

The government, however, says it can offer a 10-percent wage increase, matching inflation in 2021.

Police unions are discussing a new strike after their first was cut short by a court order. Law enforcement cannot legally go on strike in Brazil, but the police have benefitted from the leniency of lawmakers in the past, who often grant them amnesty even in cases in which strikes result in massive crime waves.