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Brazil's Bolsonaro declares war on organized crime

Staff Writer |
Brazil's government on Monday announced it will submit an anti-crime bill to congress that stiffens penalties for serious crimes.

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"The Brazilian government is declaring war on organized crime," president Jair Bolsonaro, who is recovering from surgery in hospital, said in a written message to lawmakers.

Crime in Brazil has "set records" due to the "weakening" of security forces and "too permissive" laws, said Bolsonaro.

His message was delivered by his chief of staff Onyx Lorenzoni and read to the Chamber of Deputies by the first secretary of congress Soraya Santos.

Cracking down on crime was one of Bolsonaro's main campaign promises, and soon after taking office on Jan. 1 he relaxed gun laws by presidential decree, arguing that people had the right to arm themselves at home against intruders.

Justice and Public Security Minister Sergio Moro presented some of the main points of the proposed anti-crime and anti-corruption bill to governors and security officials gathered in the capital Brasilia.

The main objective is to increase the punishment for corruption in government, violent crimes and criminal organizations, he said.

Members of criminal rings who are caught with a weapon, for example, would have to serve their jail sentences in maximum security prisons.

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