Team Nigeria and other countries planning to hit Rio de Janeiro for this year’s Olympic Games could be doing so at their
own detriment as Police in Brazil have warned that their safety would not be guaranteed.
According to bbc.com, at Rio De Janeiro’s Galeao International Airport on Monday, along with the relatives carrying
flowers and taxi drivers waiting with name boards there were lines of off-duty police with banners that had a message:
“Welcome to Hell”.
“Police and firefighters don’t get paid,” the banners, in English and Portuguese, went on. “Whoever comes to Rio de
Janeiro will not be safe”.
Elsewhere in the city police staged other demonstrations against the late payment of salaries and a lack of basic
necessities like car fuel and toilet paper.
Around 300 police officers dressed in black stood on the steps of the Rio de Janeiro state assembly. One banner read
“The police’s priority is the people, the government’s priority is the Olympics”. A spokesman for the Rio police force
said the situation was dire. “We are in a meltdown,” he said.
The message was echoed by Francisco Dornelles, the acting governor of Rio de Janeiro, who said the state was still
waiting on the promised $860 million payout from the federal government ahead of the start of the games.
He added that without the cash injection, police patrols may have to be halted due to the lack of funds for basics like
The police protests are one more symptom of the political and economic woes which have engulfed Brazil and which
threaten to overshadow the Olympic Games which Rio is preparing to host in August.
Brazil’s Senate suspended the country’s President Dilma Rousseff, and then began impeachment proceedings against her
over accusations that she manipulated the government budget ahead of her 2014 re-election campaign.