With the Olympic Games just a month away there is sudden tension rising amid issues regarding increased violence with police officers in Rio de Janeiro at odds with state government claiming they have not been paid for months. The state’s police officers vented their frustration Monday with a sign outside of Rio’s main airport reading, “Welcome to Hell.”
"Police and firefighters don't get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe," the sign said.
As the city gears up for the 2016 Olympics, the state’s police officers have said that it may not keep tourists or even locals safe. Another rising concern is police brutality, which accounts for one in every five homicides in Rio and 307 total deaths last year.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes told CNN this week the state was doing a "terrible" job in regard to security in the lead-up to the games, set to kick off August 5. "It's completely failing at its work of policing and taking care of people," Paes said.
An executive order to request emergency funds was made available last week after acting Gov. Francisco Dornelles mentioned that the games could result in failure if not funded. The rise in violence comes at a time when a gold-medal winning Paralympian was mugged in the city at gunpoint a few weeks ago. Concerns over the Zika virus have also forced some athletes to pull out of the games this summer with the world’s top golfer, Jason Day, who cited his decision was due to the possible transmission of the virus and its potential risks.
Just today a group of Brazilian scientists detected a drug-resistant bacteria growing off of some of Rio de Janeiro’s beaches. Of the beaches that were flagged, Flamengo and Botafogo, border the bay where Olympic sailors are scheduled to compete.
The troubles keep piling up for Rio and with less than a month away it will be a tough hurdle ahead.