Military Forces to Secure Rio Tourist Sites Amid 2016 Olympics
Photo courtesy of Embratur.
Brazilian officials revealed this week that military forces will be deployed to major tourist attractions throughout Rio de Janeiro in an effort to free up police to patrol and secure other areas of the city during the upcoming Olympic Games.
According to Reuters, Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said on Tuesday that military will be deployed to the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain ahead of the Games, which begin Friday and continue through Aug. 21.
"The two (tourist) points where we'll deploy the armed forces are Corcovado and the Sugarloaf Mountain," Moraes told reporters at the inauguration of the center for international police cooperation, pointing out that forces will utilize handheld metal detectors to check visitors at the Christ the Redeemer statue.
The military will also be tasked with patrolling strategic points in Rio that include airports and tram stations.
Despite Moraes describing the chances of an attack as "minimal," a total of 85,000 police officers and soldiers will be called on to secure Rio over the course of the Games, according to Reuters.
Reuters said one its reporters was able to access the changing rooms inside of the Olympic Stadium without resistance earlier this week. However, Moraes affirmed that security would be tightened ahead of Friday's opening ceremony.
"We have already incorporated 2,000 of the 3,400 expected agents and we have until tomorrow to get them trained and operational," he told reporters Tuesday. "If there is any problem, it will be checked and fixed."
Security firm Artel was recently replaced by military police reservists, who will instead check credentials and bags at stadium entrances this summer.
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