A Brazilian senator was shot in the chest, while he attempted to suppress a protest by the military police, in country's north-eastern state of Ceara, on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Senator Cid Gomez served as the state's governor for seven years, from 2007 to 2014.
Senator Cid Gomez shot
In a video, widely shared online, Gomez can be seen driving a digger through a barricade that separated him, with the protesting police officers. "You have five minutes to leave. Not one more," he warned the masked protesting policemen. A man standing on the protesters' side yelled, "You don't have the authority to do this."
Moments later, gun-shots can be heard, shattering vehicle's glasses. He suffered two bullet injuries in his chest. The incident occurred in the city of Sobral. Just before heading towards the protest, the lawmaker posted a video on his Twitter page, sharing his anger and calling for people to help him end the strike.
It was later learnt in the evening that he had suffered rubber bullet injuries in his chest. A statement from the hospital released in the evening said the senator was in stable condition and breathing without medical help, NBC reported.
Military police protest
An unknown number of members of military police went on strike on Tuesday, after negotiations with the state to raise their payment failed. In Brazil, it's illegal for the military police to strike. The protesters have been involved in acts of vandalism. They invaded several police barracks, smashed police window-shields and punctured tires.
They also forced the local businesses to remain shut. According to reports, some 260 protesting policemen are under investigation and if indicted, would be banned from receiving their salary and could be fired.
In the 2011 protests in Ceara, several police officers were arrested. "If they show their faces, they're fired or arrested," Manuela Barroso, spokesperson for the military police association, said. "Today the situation is different," he said, citing that protests could lead to looting and clashes. "Back then, the city was not as dangerous as it is today," he said.