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Bolsonaro adds two more military officers to his cabinet

Wednesday, November 28th 2018 - 08:47 UTC
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General Santos Cruz led UN peacekeepers in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been picked to lead political relations with Congress General Santos Cruz led UN peacekeepers in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been picked to lead political relations with Congress
Bolsonaro said via his Twitter account on Tuesday that longtime military engineer Tarcisio Freitas will head his infrastructure ministry Bolsonaro said via his Twitter account on Tuesday that longtime military engineer Tarcisio Freitas will head his infrastructure ministry

Brazil's right-wing president-elect Jair Bolsonaro picked retired General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz as his minister in charge of political relations with Congress, and military engineer Tarcisio Freitas as his infrastructure ministry, a fifth and sixth military to his cabinet.

Bolsonaro, a former army captain turned politician who surged to victory on a pledge to end years of corruption and rising violence, made the announcement in a Twitter post.

Moving to deliver on his law-and-order platform, Bolsonaro's choice for justice and public security, former anti-corruption judge Sergio Moro, said he would coordinate federal and state police forces to better fight organized crime and slow the growth of Brazil's powerful drug gangs that control swaths of cities.

Some Brazilians are concerned that the appointment of Santos Cruz, who led United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other current or former military officials marks a return to a militarized government. Bolsonaro takes office on Jan. 1.

Seeking to defuse those concerns, Bolsonaro, a fan of the 1964-85 military dictatorship, has vowed to adhere to Brazil's constitution and has moderated some of his more extreme views expressed during almost three decades as a federal congressman.

In Brasilia, where Bolsonaro's transition team is preparing to govern, Moro told reporters that he will create a secretariat of police operations to coordinate all Brazil's security efforts by federal and state police forces to curb violence in the country that has more murders than any other.

Brazilian states have control over nearly all the police forces in the country, and Moro underscored he would respect their sovereignty.

But he said federal coordination was badly needed to improve street policing across Brazil and to tame the country's overcrowded prisons, which are under the control of drug gangs who recruit from jail and where bloody uprisings are rampant.

Likewise Bolsonaro said via his Twitter account on Tuesday that longtime military engineer Tarcisio Freitas will head his infrastructure ministry once he takes office on January first.

Bolsonaro pledged massive investments for Brazil’s woeful infrastructure ahead of last month’s run-off election. Freitas, a graduate of the Black Needles military academy, is the sixth member of Bolsonaro’s cabinet to have an extensive military background.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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