Brazil state to fire military police who failed to patrol

Authorities in a Brazilian state where military police failed to patrol for more than a week are opening disciplinary proceedings against dozens of officers.

Authorities in Espirito Santo officially initiated procedures to fire 161 military police Tuesday. In addition, investigations into four senior officers were opened.

Military police play a key role in providing security in Brazil and are thus not allowed to strike. Instead, relatives are protesting in front of their barracks to demand higher pay for their loved ones. Military police claim this prevented them from patrolling, leading to a wave of violence.

Authorities say the officers were behind the protests and were effectively holding an illegal strike.

Several hundred military police have now returned to duty in Espirito Santo, but the military continues to help patrol.