In most cities around the world, the job of the local police force is to keep citizens and visitors to their community safe. Well, that may not be the case in Rio de Janeiro next month.
With just 31 days left until the Olympic flame is lit inside Rio’s Olympic Stadium, police officers are telling tourists they may not be able to protect them.
Violence within the host city is on the rise, police officers reportedly haven’t been paid consistently for months, if at all, and the government just declared a state of emergency.
*Everything won’t be fine dot gif.*
This past week, police officers stood outside the Rio airport with a sign that said “Welcome to Hell” and “Police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.”
It’s probably safe to say that’s not the warm welcome tourists expected to see and the International Olympic Committee thought would happen when it awarded Rio the games way back in October of 2009.
But it’s not just tourists that won’t be safe during the games. Local citizens of Rio and the surrounding favelas are in danger as well. Via CNN:
“It seems like there is an order [from authorities] to put fear in people so they stay calm, so they don’t cause trouble in the city because the foreigners can’t see that the city is chaotic,” Higor da Silva, a resident of the Mare favela, recently told CNN. “They [state police] don’t care if there is a child in the middle — they shoot their target.”
Security officials have told CNN and other news outlets officers who use excessive force when it isn’t deemed necessary have been removed from their jobs. On top of that, use of heavy weapons has gone down.
Still, that may not be enough to protect citizens and tourists throughout the games.