Brazil Is Pouring Millions More Into Olympics’ Security

Photo: REUTERS/Nacho Doce

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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The Rio 2016 Olympic Games’ website announced Wednesday it dumped $26 million into reinforcing security in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games in August.

Brazilian Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani stated Tuesday that the funds are, “the amount needed for the defense forces to carry out their duties and it will be available.” The money will fund 88,000 security personnel, including soldiers and police, to patrol Rio de Janeiro from July 24 until the Olympics end.

The ministry of defense requested the cash, less than a month away from the opening ceremony. The large amount of money is a surprising turnaround, given that Rio de Janeiro police protested in June that they were not getting paid on time.

Tensions between Rio de Janeiro police and the Brazilian government reached a fever pitch when off-duty cops stood inside the city’s main airport with a sign reading, “WELCOME TO HELL: police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.”

Security is always a huge concern to planning the Olympics, but it is particularly worrisome in Rio de Janeiro, a particularly violent city known for its gang-infested slums, the favelas. An Australian Paralympian, Liesl Tesch as well as Spanish Olympic sailors have already been the victims of crimes at gunpoint in the Olympics’ host city.

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