Sometimes I feel like I have stepped back in time to the days of the "Old West" when the town Sheriff, underpaid and out-gunned, made a heroic effort to protect the local population from bandits.
Brazil is more like the "Old West" than it was in the USA's past history and there is no sign of it getting better anytime soon. The PEC 300, a proposed national salary base for police and firefighters has been stalled in Congress since early in Protected content . Governors of many Brazilian states are doing everything in their power to see to it that it does not come up for a congressional vote this year. Police throughout the country who receive sub-standard salaries threaten a nationwide strike which would throw Brazil into absolute chaos. (see linked R7 report at Protected content )
It is a shameful situation and ironic in that the richest states pay their police and firefighters the lowest salaries. For example, Rio de Janeiro the second largest economy in Brazil in terms of GDP, pays its Civil Police R$ Protected content month, the lowest salary for Civil Police in all of Brazil. It pays Military Police a pathetic R$ Protected content month only marginally better than the lowest paid in Brazil (RS at R$996). It makes no sense whatsoever that in Sergipe, the smallest state in the union and 21st in terms of GDP, police officers earn salaries almost double those in Rio de Janeiro. In Brasilia, DF Civil Police earn the highest in Brazil at R$ Protected content Military Police get R$4129. São Paulo the country's largest economy isn't much better either - here police earn just over R$ Protected content month.
In order to survive with sub-standard salaries police all over the country are forced to take secondary employment, which in most cases is better paid than their policing positions. This means that they generally devote more time and attention to the secondary job than to being police officers and we all suffer in terms of a total lack of public security for this reason.
Federal politicians couldn't really care less, since they are well policed in Brasilia. State politicians are busting their butts to maintain the status quo and keep wages shamefully low. Rio de Janeiro is just the worst example... and they try and feed us all the crap that they are capable of hosting such world class events as the World Cup Protected content the Olympic Games. FALA SÉRIO, GENTE!!!