Brazil increases military patrols for Rio 2016

Brazil will increase the number of soldiers patrolling the streets of Rio de Janeiro during next month's Olympic Games in response to a crime wave, the country's interim defence minister said Wednesday.

Raul Jungmann said that a rash of armed robberies and deadly shootings on busy thoroughfares in recent weeks had prompted Rio de Janeiro state Governor Francisco Dornelles to ask the military for more help keeping the Olympic and Paralympic Games safe.

More than 21,000 soldiers will assist civil and military police units to protect expressways, the Olympic Village and other Olympic routes in Rio de Janeiro, he said, 3,000 more than originally planned.

Rio has struggled to prepare for the August 5-21 Olympic and September 7-18 Paralympic Games amid a dire financial crisis in the state and one of Brazil's worst recessions ever.

Fears of violent crime have now piled onto existing concerns about terrorist attacks at the Games. The Zika virus has prompted some athletes to stay home. And a 2.8-billion-dollar subway expansion intended to ease circulation at the Games is still not completed.

Dornelles said last week that without more cash the Olympics risked "failure."

Brazil's government gave Rio a 2.90-billion-real (785-million-euro) bailout June 30, which will be used to pay security forces and buy fuel for police cars, among other expenditures.

Last update: Thu, 07/07/2016 - 11:53
Author: 

More from World

Jammeh looted state coffers before leaving Gambia, say officials

Former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh emptied the country’s state coffers before relinquishing power, a member of the...

Trump invites Netanyahu to meeting as new settlement action weighed

US President Donald Trump has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet him at the White House next...

Trump's senior staff sworn in at White House

About 30 officials who will serve as advisers and assistants to President Donald Trump were were sworn in Sunday at...

Dozens killed in clashes in south-west Yemen

ozens of people have been killed in clashes in war-torn Yemen's south-west, a source in the Yemeni military told dpa...

Iran hands down 5-year prison sentence to British woman for spying

A court in Tehran has sentenced a British woman, who has already been held in custody in Iran for 10 months, to five...