Rio Police: We Cannot Protect Tourists

Rio Police: We Cannot Protect Tourists

The Olympic Games are less than a month away and Rio de Janeiro is falling apart. Violence is on the rise and police officers are in a dispute over pay that could keep those who attend the games unprotected and vulnerable.

Police have a message for those attending the games: We won’t be able to protect you.

The state’s police officers have vented their anger by holding signs up at the airport alerting travelers that they are walking into an unprotected zone.  Last week they held up a sign at the airport that read, “Welcome to Hell.”

Rio de Janeiro state, which controls the region's military police force, issued an executive order requesting emergency funds from the federal government in order to pay officers their bonuses and overtime. The 2.9 billion-real bailout (roughly $850 million) was made available last week, after acting governor Francisco Dornelles said Games could be a "big failure" without the funds. It's believed that the back pay will be distributed this week.

It isn’t just the tourists who could be in danger; the locals are losing their patience, too. This tends to be the harsh reality as the city gears up to host the 2016 Olympics amid increasing concerns over police brutality and their ability and desire to keep people safe.

The games come as the state security officials take measures to expel officers who use excessive force and decrease the amount of heavy weapons. The efforts, however, have not proved to be effective as countries from around the world fear sending their athletes to the games without proper security.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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