News

Brazil invests heavily in World Cup security

Brazil invests heavily in World Cup security

WORLD CUP: Riot police patrol the Santinho beach next the Costao do Santinho hotel ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina state, Feb. 19. Photo: Reuters/Sergio Moraes

By Mark Gleeson

FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil (Reuters) – Brazil will employ 170,000 security personnel and spend close to $798 million to try and ensure a trouble-free World Cup tournament, organizers said on Thursday.

A total of 150,000 armed services and public policing forces personnel will be diverted to the month-long event that kicks off on June 12, plus a further 20,000 trained private security officers hired to bolster security.

But Brazilian government officials acknowledged they were still concerned about the possibility of violence marring the tournament, following last year’s unexpected demonstrations at the Confederations Cup.

More than a million people took to the streets during the warm-up event for the World Cup to protest against poor public services, corruption and the high cost of the stadiums.

“We have a lot of concerns, not as much about protests which are a democratic right, but rather at potential violence. We are committed to preventing violence during any protest activity,” Andrei Rodrigues, the secretary for special events at the Brazilian justice ministry, told a FIFA media conference on World Cup security.

“We are firstly seeking prevention, through dialogue with the protest movements and the gathering of intelligence. We want to separate those who want to protest peacefully from those who are vandals.

“We are confident that a safe and secure World Cup can be delivered by Brazil,” said Ralf Mutschke, security director for soccer’s world governing body FIFA.

Mutschke prefaced his remarks by saying the tournament was under a spotlight and it was “pretty easy to be concerned about the World Cup when you read about the demonstrations, violence, street crime, child prostitution and drug abuse”.

Since last June’s Confederation Cup, protests have continued, though they have become smaller and more violent with anarchist groups vandalizing store fronts and banks and clashing with police.

Any disruption of the World Cup, meant to mark Brazil’s coming of age on the global stage, would embarrass President Dilma Rousseff’s government and undermine her popularity as she prepares to seek re-election in October. ($1 = 2.38 Brazilian reais)

(Editing by Todd Benson and Rex Gowar)

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Local

Fortenberry Gives a Lukewarm Endorsement

Trump SC 102815

A lukewarm endorsement at best as Nebraska Congressman Jeff Fortenberry reacts to the swift change of events

3 hours ago in Local

“Gun” Cell Phone Cases Banned in Minnesota

The Minnesota Senate unanimously passed a bill banning sale or possession of cell phone cases that look like guns

4 hours ago in Local

Top Leaders in the Iowa Legislature Reject the “anti-establishment” Fervor

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Crosby High School, in Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S., April 23, 2016.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The top two leaders in the Iowa legislature reject the idea the "anti-establishment" fervor among the nation's voters this year will trickle down and doom incumbents like them running for reelection to the Iowa House and Senate

4 hours ago in Local

Not Much Action Taken on Improving Water Quality

water faucet

The Iowa legislature adjourned this year's session without taking much action on improving the state's water quality.

5 hours ago in Local

Property Tax Cuts in Nebraska Depend on Education Aid

money farm

While Nebraska lawmakers were able to pass twenty million dollars in property tax cuts this year, any further progress may take more of a comprehensive approach.