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Rio Cops To Olympic Tourists, Olympians: You’re On Your Own

(Credit: Fernanda Kairys/Shutterstock)

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Police officers in Rio de Janeiro made their discontent with the upcoming Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games known by welcoming tourists “TO HELL” at the city’s airport Monday.

The picture of the protesting off-duty cops got three million views the same day it was uploaded to Imgur, and image-sharing site. Authorities in Rio are angry their overtime pay has not been honored for months and that salaries have been diminished.

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Rio cops held up the sign which read in full, “WELCOME TO HELL: police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.” A spokesman for Rio police even admitted to Brazilian media, “We are in a meltdown.”

Rio de Janeiro State is currently awaiting a bailout worth almost $1 billion from the Brazilian federal government. The city is infamous for suffering from rampant crime, particularly in shantytowns known as favelas.

Australian Paralympian Liesl Tesch had her bike stolen June 19 in Rio de Janeiro while training because she did not have any money to give to a mugger at gunpoint. Three members of the Spanish Olympic sailing team were robbed at gunpoint by five assailants in Rio in May.

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