Most stores and restaurants throughout São Paulo are closed today because the city has been in a state of chaos since last Friday due to the attack by the organized crime group Primeiro Comando da Capital or PCC.
The violence was triggered by an attempt to isolate gang leaders by transferring eight of them on Thursday to a high-security facility hundreds of miles from the city. Leaders of PCC reportedly used cellphones to order the initial attacks. Gang members then riddled police cars with bullets, hurled grenades at police stations and attacked officers at their homes and after-work hangouts. On Sunday, the gang employed a new tactic by sending gunmen onto buses, ordering passengers and drivers off, and torching the vehicles. Thousands of drivers refused to work Monday, leaving approximately 2.9 million people scrambling to find a way to work. An estimated 51 buses were burned down by PCC.
In Brasilia, President Lula said he was prepared to send in 4,000 federal troops, and officials worried the violence could spread 220 miles northeast to Rio de Janeiro, where police were put on high alert. However, the governor of São Paulo state, Claudio Lembo, insisted that the federal troops offered by Lula were not needed.
As of late Monday, all 73 prison rebellions that broke out had been quelled. Officials confirmed 81 people dead, and 49 wounded in the attacks. 91 suspects were caught.
UPDATE: On Tuesday afternoon, the government of São Paulo confirmed 115 dead people in the 251 attacks commited by PCC.