ARMORED CARS, SOLDIERS IN CAMOUFLAGE SECURE RIO OLYMPICS
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian soldiers were on the streets Saturday, checking out spots around the city that will get intense security when the Rio de Janeiro Olympics open in just under four weeks.
Armored vehicles and trucks carrying troops were accompanied by soldiers decked out in camouflage gear and matching helmets, with rifles slung over their shoulders. The soldiers covered the city – from Copacabana Beach to the central train station and the renovated port area.
Rio’s rising crime rate is at the top of a long list of problems confronting South America’s first games: the Zika epidemic, severe water pollution, a crushing recession and slow ticket sales.
In addition, Brazil President Dilma Rousseff faces an impeachment trial that is likely to start just after the Olympics end.
The one-day show of force was intense with the Olympics set for Aug. 5-21.
“What we are doing today is patrolling and checking out the areas where we can deploy during the games,” Brazilian army spokesman Colonel Mario Medina said.
He said the full deployment would begin on July 24 and continue through the end of the Paralympic Games. Those games are Sept. 7-18.
Rio de Janeiro will use about 85,000 soldiers and police to secure the games, about twice as many as London four years ago. About 10,500 athletes are expected for the Olympics with 300,000 to 500,000 foreign tourists. – READ MORE