Why The Rio Olympics Are Totally F*cked
Police to tourists: We can't protect you. Also: Superbacteria.
BY MATT MILLER | Jul 11, 2016 | Culture
We already know that Rio is a place wrought with corruption, surrounded by poisonous water, and held up by crumbling infrastructure. But, now we've learned that it's also a place where the police might not even be able to protect you from the city's rampant crime.
With the Olympic games less than a month away, Rio police are speaking out in protest of the government. Claiming they haven't been paid in months, a group of officers stood outside of the Rio airport holding a sign that read: "Welcome to Hell. Police and firefighters don't get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe."
Last week, Rio de Janeiro state, which controls the military police force, took an USD850 million bailout to pay officers their bonuses and overtime. The funds are expected to be distributed this week, but police say that's not enough.
"You encounter a drug trafficker armed with lots of ammunition and you only have only 20 bullets," an anonymous police officer told CNN. "It is absurd."
Brazil has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, and in May, 40 people were killed by on-duty officers—more than twice than during the same time last year.
Nearly 85,000 police and soldiers will be deployed during the games August 5-21, which are expected to draw 350,000 to 500,000 tourists to the city of 12 million people. Meanwhile, as Rio attempts to pull through its worst recession in decades, police helicopters and patrol cars have been grounded, as forces struggle to pay for basic supplies like toilet paper and pens.
"How are people going to feel protected in a city without security?" Gov. Francisco Dornelles told Rio's O Globo newspaper. "We can have a great Olympics, but if some steps aren't taken, it can be a big failure."
Meanwhile, amid concerns about the Zika virus in Rio, Jason Day, the world No. 1 golfer, withdrew from the games last week, along with Rory McIlroy. On top of that, for more than a year, scientists have reported the major health risks with competing in Rio's filthy waterways. And just last week, scientists discovered a drug-resistant bacteria growing on Rio's beaches where Olympic sailors are scheduled to compete. Athletes have already claimed the filthy water has caused skin infections during training.
But at least Michael Phelps will be there?
From: Esquire US.