Police strike in Rio de Janeiro ends before Carnival


Sabrina Sato of the Vila Isabel samba school performs during the first night of Carnival parades at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro.



A police strike in Rio de Janeiro ended Monday just days before the city hosts its annual Carnival celebrations, the Associated Press reported.

Fernando Bandeira, president Sinpol, of one of the unions representing police, said officers and firefighters together decided to end the strike because "we don't want to harm our Rio, especially during Carnival."

Two days earlier, police in the northeastern state of Bahia ended their strike after the area saw an explosion in violent crime that killed more than 150 people. The AP said homicide rates doubled in its capital, Salvador during the duration of the strike.

Police in Bahia voted over the weekend to end their 12-day strike after being offered a 6.5% wage raise, the BBC reported.

More from GlobalPost: Brazil's police end strike before Carnival

The strikes have raised concerns about Brazil's ability to ensure the safety of tourists at events like Carnival and the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Carnival officially starts this Friday Feb. 17 when 850,000 tourists are expected to flock to Rio for the annual festival.

In all, the massive street parties can swell to up to 2 million people.

More from GlobalPost: Brazil's slowdown can hurt neighboring Argentina