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 (todayszaman.com).   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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cynthia curran

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.

Hank

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

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.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

Loretta grew up outside Toledo, OH, where she swam age group and high school. Graduating from Xavier University, she stayed in the Cincinnati, OH area and currently resides just outside the city in Northern KY.  Loretta got back into the sport of swimming via Masters and now competes and is …

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