Following a number of violent criminal incidents within eyesight of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic venues, overall security and safety issues are now added to the list of concerns among the local media.
As Brazil prepares to host the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on 5-21 August, recent news of, for example, pollution, venue construction delays and labour strikes, has not exactly been positive.
A 55-year-old cyclist was stabbed to death in May while cycling close to the site in which rowing and canoe sprint events will be held. In another incident, a 19-year-old French cyclist was assaulted in the same district in recent weeks, spending 15 days in intensive care before recovering.
Last December, while walking back to their hotel, two British sailors were mugged at knifepoint and robbed of all possessions, with the incident taking place very close to Copacabana Bay, the site of beach volleyball, open water swimming and triathlon events.
According to recent statistics, the state of Rio de Janeiro, which includes the city of Rio, saw a drop in murders in 2012. But homicides began rising again, jumping 21 per cent to 4,939 people killed in 2014. “Security is an issue for our everyday life,” says the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Mayor.
In total, it is estimated there have been over 40,000 murders in Rio de Janeiro over the past eight years. Distancing the violence from overall Games preparations, the Mayor said it’s not an issue about the Olympics. “It’s an issue about us Cariocas [Rio residents] and the way we conduct our lives.”
- 2016 Olympic Games
Security and safety remain a major concern prior to next year’s Olympic Games.