With a month to go before the start of the Rio 2016 Olympics, Brazil’s National Public Security Force – made up of elite police and military officers – assumed control of safety in and around the city’s sports venues amid worries of local crime and the potential for terror attacks.
CCTV America’s Lucrecia Franco in Rio has more.
Brazil is determined to make sure athletes and visitors attending the first South American Games will be safe.
Brazil’s Justice Minister, Alexandre de Moraes, said he was confident Rio will deliver safe games and said the country will be vigilant against all threats, including terrorism.
Brazil’s security plan for the games includes the deployment of 85 thousand police officers and soldiers, which was double the staff of the 2012 London Olympics.
In addition to the ground troops, Rio has invested in state-of-the-art security centers since the World Cup to counter any potential threat, and will work in coordination with some 55 countries, sharing information.
However, Rio is dealing with a financial crisis, its worst recession in decades. This week local policemen, angry over unpaid wages, staged protests at the city’s main airport. Their message to anyone arriving for the Olympics: “Welcome to hell.”
The beginning of national security operations coincides with a government injection of some $ 900 million to the state of Rio to help cover salaries and infrastructure costs. It’s money officials are hoping will put a lid on rising crime and the local police revolt.
Dale McElhattan on security concerns of Rio Olympics
For more about violence on the rise in Rio and what’s needed to protect the games, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Dale McElhattan, retired Supervisory Special Agent with the Diplomatic Security Service.