Ahead of the Games that begin in just less than a month, Rio has deployed an extra 3,000 soldiers to aid in the security at the Olympics. These soldiers will be additions to the already 18,000 armed personnel that will be protecting the events. Defense Minister Raul Jungmann made the announcement in Rio on Wednesday, July 6.
The extra troops will protect key transportation infrastructure such as the international airport, train stations, and major roads. They will also be on the look out for terror related activity in the city’s most visible locations as well as security details for VIPs.
The latest addition of troops will bring the number of armed personnel up to over 21,000.
“If necessary, we will mobilise even more,” said Jungmann.
This new information is welcomed in a time where many are calling for greater security at the Games. Last month an Australian Paralympic sailor and team officials were robbed at gunpoint while training in Rio. As a result, Australia’s Chef de Mission, Kitty Chiller, wrote to the Rio organizing committee and mayor demanding increased security. Chiller and the Australian Olympic Committee have not received a response yet, but this extra security may be a solution to the backlash.
This is not the only incident of robbery in Rio, as three Spanish sailors were robbed in Santa Teresa, an area of Rio.
According to the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, 6,000 soldiers are already operating in the city, with extra security from 12 naval vessels, 28 army helicopters, and 70 armored vehicles. Another 20,000 soldiers will be on patrol in the five cities that are co-hosting the Games’ football tournament.
The grand total of security personnel for the Games will be 88,000, comprising 47,000 police and 41,000 Armed Forces personnel.
So far 7,262 people have failed extensive background checks upon their application for tickets, and have therefore been declined accreditation to access Olympic areas.