SAO PAULO – Brazil's lower house has approved a decree to put the military in charge of Rio de Janeiro's security forces amid a spike in violence.
The military took over Friday, but the presidential decree still needs congressional approval. The Chamber of Deputies approved it late Monday and the Senate is scheduled to debate it Tuesday.
Overnight, the armed forces and police spread out in a slum in northern Rio in the first major operation since the change in command.
Armored vehicles rolled through the streets of the neighborhood on Guanabara Bay, while boats patrolled the waters. Soldiers and police set up checkpoints and searched everyone leaving or entering during the morning commute.