Sports Trends

Rio Olympics: Brazil ramps up security ahead of Games

In this July 3, 2015 photo, Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, left, and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes look at the Olympic Torch as it's presented during a ceremony ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brasilia, Brazil. The former head of national public security in Brazil expects the Olympic torch relay to be targeted by protests. Brazil is buried in its deepest recession since the 1930, made worse by countless graft and corruption investigations that have touched most of Brazil's most powerful politicians from Rousseff to Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, who has been the main force behind the Olympics.

The federal government in Brazil says it is releasing additional funding to beef up security ahead of next month’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani said the armed forces would get an extra $24m (£18m) to help them meet security needs.

The military would begin patrolling sports venues from 24 July, he added.

More than 80,000 police and soldiers will patrol the streets of Rio for the duration of the games.

The state of Rio de Janeiro has recently cut budgets across the board, including that of the police.

The police in Rio recently staged demonstrations against the late payment of salaries and a lack of basic necessities like car fuel and toilet paper.

Correspondents say the protests are a symptom of the political and economic woes which have engulfed Brazil in recent times.

Brazil’s Senate suspended the country’s President Dilma Rousseff in May, and then began impeachment proceedings against her over allegations that she manipulated the government budget ahead of her 2014 re-election campaign.

On the economic front, government figures for the first quarter of 2016 showed that Brazil was experiencing its worst recession in 25 years.

And the Olympic organising committee has had to deal with news that several famous sportsmen – including golf world number one Jason Day – have withdrawn from the games because of fears about the Zika virus.

However, the CEO of the games has said that concerns about the virus affecting the Olympics have been “blown out of the proportion.”


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Sydney Chesterfield

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