Authorities in Rio de Janeiro state say security will be beefed up during Carnival following a wave of violence caused by rival drug trafficking gangs.
Gov. Luiz Fernando Pezao said on Thursday security forces for the bash will total more than 17,000 statewide. That includes 2,000 agents who were called in after being off duty.
Last year Rio used 12,000 policemen during Carnival, which starts on Friday and ends Tuesday.
Pezao also promised to pay policemen more than $20 million in delayed salaries and bring back a bonus program that was downsized due to the state’s financial crisis.
Rio’s security secretary Roberto Sa says police face a war-like challenge from local gangs.