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Brazil’s Army Will Need More Than Guns to Fix Rio de Janeiro Crime

  • Mismanagement and oil slump main culprits of empty coffers
  • Ability to rein in crime will determine size of Rio’s rebound
Soldiers and military police patrol the Jacarézinho Favela on Jan. 18 .

Soldiers and military police patrol the Jacarézinho Favela on Jan. 18 .

Photographer: Fabio Teixeira/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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When Brazil’s President Michel Temer put an Army general in charge of Rio de Janeiro’s security last week, few people on the streets complained.

The latest wave of violence in this crime-prone city reflects the economic malaise that has come with recession and hinders its recovery. It is particularly frustrating because Rio appeared to have made a lasting breakthrough in containing crime, much like New York City did in the 1990s. Pollster Ibope found 83 percent of Brazilians support the intervention.