After the threat of punishment, pro-Bolsonaro acts did not register public participation of PMs

SAO PAULO – Despite the concern raised in recent weeks about the participation of active military police officers in the acts in favor of President Jair Bolsonaro, the main concentrations of supporters of the Chief Executive did not register problems caused by the group yesterday.

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On Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo, and on the Esplanada dos Ministérios, in Brasília, authorities did not report the presence of uniformed agents or publicly showing weapons among the president’s supporters. Active police officers are prohibited from participating in political demonstrations, according to the category’s state regulations. According to a survey published by GLOBO on Saturday, at least eight states intend to punish PMs if it is proven that they took action.

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Governors and public security experts admit that most of the troop voted for Bolsonaro and share ideas with the president, mainly in defense of corporatist agendas and armaments. Despite this, they assess that the disclosure of exemplary punishments, the call for compliance with internal regulations and the fact that most of the troops were working in the security of the protests contributed to the non-noticed participation of police officers.

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For the former national secretary of Public Security and retired colonel of the Military Police of São Paulo José Vicente da Silva, the PM fulfilled its role and did not manifest itself politically.

— The PMs would not have how or why to adhere to these acts. They have a professional commitment to preserving the population in the enjoyment of their rights to assemble and demonstrate. And that was the job: the professional role was fulfilled and there were no political movements – said the colonel.

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In São Paulo, although the state government informed that everyone would be searched, many protesters passed through the blockades on Avenida Paulista without having their belongings checked by the Military Police. According to the Public Security Secretariat, the searches were carried out in “strategic points”. In the Federal District, the PM fired gas bombs to disperse a group that set off fires, which were prohibited, near the Itamaraty Palace.