Safety and Security a Growing Concern for 2016 Olympic Games

Pollution, venue construction delays, labor strikes….news out of Brazil, as the country prepares to host the 2016 Olympic Games, has not exactly been positive as of late.  Now, with several violent criminal incidents having taken place in eyesight of Rio’s Olympic venues, overall security and safety issues can be added to the list of concerns among the local media.

On May 19, a 55-year-old cyclist was stabbed to death while cycling near the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, close to the site in which rowing and canoe sprint events will be held (   A 19-year-old French cyclist has also been assaulted in the same district in recent weeks, spending 15 days in intensive care before recovering (insidethegames).  Several months earlier in December, while walking back to their hotel, two British sailors were mugged at knifepoint and robbed of all possessions, with the incident taking place very close to Copacabana Bay, the site of beach volleyball, open water swimming and triathlon events (insidethegames).

According to recent statistics, the state of Rio de Janeiro, which includes the city of Rio, saw a drop in murders in 2012. But homicides began rising again, jumping 21 percent to 4,939 people killed in 2014. “Security is an issue for our everyday life,” says Rio de Janeiro mayor, Eduardo Paes.  In total, there have been over 40,000 murders in Rio de Janeiro over the past eight years, it is estimated. Distancing the violence from overall Games preparations, Paes further commented that, “this is not an issue about the Olympics. It’s an issue about us Cariocas [Rio residents] and the way we conduct our lives.”

The State Secretary for Security, Jose Mariano Beltrame, described the violence at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas as “unacceptable” and has already announced changes in the district police chain of command, deploying more officers on bicycles and cavalry offices.  With just 14 months out from the start of the 2016 Olympic Games, it remains to be seen if there is still time to rectify the list of global concerns, which appear to be ever-growing.

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8 years ago

I’m from Brazil, and truly recommend: be cautious when there, pay attention to your surroundings and be alert. It’s not safe, especially for kids.

8 years ago

Brasil has never been ready to host the Olympics, it’s too early, Brasil is still too poor

9 years ago

If You look The Business Insider’s latest list of most dangerous Cities in the World 2015 there is 19 out of 50 Cities from Brazil. Going forward 10 out of 20 (Top 20) are Brazilian Cities. Mega Cities like Rio or Sao Paolo is not there but this not mean you are safe there.
This country has developed “human disaster bubble” which will blow up some day. Drugs are on sale on the streets and schools with the price of Coca Cola and Guns are everywhere but mostly illegal ones. Then they showing daily Novellas / “Soap Operas” on TV where everything is Luxury and Money is not an issue.
Brazilians here are super optimistic and fending their… Read more »

9 years ago

Brazil is a garbage dump of a country. I lived there for a year and was thrilled to leave and get back to the States. I have Brazilian friends who live in the USA and have NO PLANS ever to return to Brazil to live.

Why and how Brazil ever got the Olympics is beyond me. There must have been under the table payoffs galore. The only nice parts of Brazil is where there are no people.

All this news does not surprise me one bit.

cynthia curran
9 years ago

In just 10 years, Brazil has been able to use consistent economic growth to lift around 40 million people out of poverty. And while the “thought-leaders” at Davos have been wringing their hands about the perils of inequality, over the past 10 years all regions and ethnic groups in Brazil have seen their incomes rise, with the poorest benefiting significantly more than the richest.
Here’s more information from the guardian. It needs to work on crime but has made major advances, you need to consider that. Mexico also has violence because of the Drug Cartels.

9 years ago

My wife is from Brazil and we have been traveling to Brazil for many years but on this last trip to Brazil in January we were robbed by armed gunmen on a motorcycle. Brazil is more dangerous than it appears. More people than not who live there have similar stories and many did not end as lucky. You need to have a bodyguard and security if possible. It may feel safe like you don’t at times and I felt that way for years but I no longer feel that way. If you are thinking about going to watch the olympics be careful. Don’t take your families if you do.

cynthia curran
9 years ago

True, Brazil and Latin American countries have higher crime but the average age is lower than the us which means more crime. Brazil is developing and there are very poor areas but there are also some start up companies in Brazil. In fact, if the Latin American countries keep developing they could approach the level of the poorer US states. In fact three are wealth to do Brazilians that have brought up US property just like the Chinese on an investment vista.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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