With only a month to go until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Rio police and firefighters are staging protests against the state government. According to CNN, police and firefighters staged a protest at Rio's Galeão International Airport on Tuesday, holding signs decrying the state government.
CNN reports that protesters claim police and firefighters haven't been paid in months. Police held signs that read "Welcome to hell" and "Police and firefighters don't get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe," implying that tourists (and locals) won't necessarily be protected until the dispute between police, firefighters, and the government are resolved.
Seen at the airport in Rio today: First responders welcome toutists. A sign of what's to come during the Olympics? pic.twitter.com/mCOYB3deuo— Michael Smith (@SmithMarkets) June 27, 2016
Rio de Janeiro has seen a great deal of turmoil in recent months and has been the subject of global scrutiny in light of the upcoming Olympics. Buzzfeed News reported that three police officers were killed in Rio this past weekend, making a total of 54 police officers killed there so far in the month of July.
Marcelo Mata, who directs the Association of Military Firefighters in Rio de Janeiro (ABMERJ) told Buzzfeed Brazil that police are not adequately able to protect themselves against violent criminals:
The police have clearly been hunted by the corresponding powers in the criminal element. We don’t have bulletproof vests for the entire force, and we don’t have adequate weapons, while [criminals] use assault rifles.
According to a June 2 report from Amnesty International, on-duty police officers in Rio killed at least 40 people in May.
Amnesty International further advised that there was a risk of human rights violations in Rio during the Games:
Amnesty International warns that previous experiences with major sports events hosted in the country, along with a history of human rights violations committed by the Brazilian security forces, raise concerns regarding the potential risk of human rights violations in the context of the Olympic Games.
The office of Rio's secretary of state security told Buzzfeed that Brazil's federal government has invested 350 million Brazilian reals (about $106,107,361 USD) in security for the Olympics. The office added that 38,000 people from the armed forces will be dedicated to working the Games, as well as 47,000 who will provide security, order, and civil defense.