August 11, 2015 - 10:24 ( Brasília )

Defense

RIO 2016 - Brazilian Armed Forces to step up security

During the Olympics, the Armed Forces are to work in the security scheme for 65 disciplines, 44 test events, and four official events

Some 38 thousand military personnel from the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force are expected to tighten up security for the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, the Ministry of Defense announced Friday (Aug. 7). In the host city of Rio de Janeiro, 20 thousand men will be deployed, in addition to another 18 thousand in Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Manaus, Salvador, and São Paulo, where football matches are scheduled to take place.

Overall, the operation is estimated to cost approximately $165 million—lower than the 2014 World Cup's $201 million as some of the structures built for the latter will be reused. Over 15 thousand athletes from 205 countries are expected to participate in the Games, slated to begin in August next year. Close to 100 foreign authorities should pay the country a visit during the sporting event.

“The Ministry of Defense is in charge of the security of the air and sea space, as well as anti-terrorist plans and the control of strategic structures, such as energy, transmission towers, and cyber security,” explained the head of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces, General José Carlos De Nardi. Patrolling the streets falls under the responsibility of the Military Police.

The Armed Forces will be engaged in the security scheme for 65 disciplines, 44 test evens, and four ceremonies. Also expected is the surveillance of the Olympic torch through 300 Brazilian cities, starting on May 3, 2016, and scheduled to last 100 days.

General De Nardi says he does not rule out the possibility of a terrorist attack during the Games. “My biggest concern is lone-wolf strikes [individual action]. Not even the United States can intercept those,” he argued, and went on to describe the need for collaboration between the Federal Police, Interpol, and the security forces from other countries as key to the success of the Games.