February 26, 2018 / 3:44 PM / 8 months ago

Brazil defense minister to take over public security post

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian Defense Minister Raul Jungmann will become the head of the new Ministry of Public Security that will coordinate efforts between all levels of government to try to curb escalating violence across Brazil, the government announced Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's Defense Minister Raul Jungmann speaks during a news conference for foreign journalists in Brasilia, Brazil, May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Jungmann was the top government official involved in the negotiation of a joint venture between Boeing Co and Brazilian planemaker Embraer that is still pending a green light from the country’s president.

Army Reserve General Joaquim Silva e Luna will temporarily take over as the head of the Defense Ministry, a presidential spokesman said.

Boeing has sought Brazilian government approval of the partnership with Embraer that would create a new company focused on commercial aviation, excluding Embraer’s defense unit, Reuters reported three weeks ago.

Jungmann was due to make a recommendation to President Michel Temer on the tie-up following Brazil’s rejection of a Boeing plan to buy Embraer.

He will hand over that role to Luna, who has been briefed on the Boeing-Embraer talks, a government official said. The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter.

Temer is expected to issue a decree on Tuesday creating the Ministry of Public Security, which will take over the running of Brazil’s federal police and other law enforcement agencies from the Ministry of Justice.

Last month, the federal government ordered the army to take over command of police forces in Rio de Janeiro state as authorities try to control violence and crime driven by heavily armed drug gangs that control many of the metropolitan area’s slums.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Ricardo Brito; Editing by Frances Kerry

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