POSTED: October 19th 2009

Rio mayor vows to toughen security after street violence

Eduardo Paes: confident of security solutions / lake images
Eduardo Paes: confident of security solutions / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: Rio mayor Eduardo Paes sought to reassure a business and sport summit in London that the Brazilian city's leaders recognise the security challenges ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Weekend violence saw the deaths of 16 people and the bringing down of a police helicopter in exchanges which were unwelcome domestically, having erupted only two weeks after the Olympic award.

Paes said that the city had never hidden the security challenges ahead but promised that solutions were being undertaken - in line with promises made to both the world football federation FIFA and to the International Olympic Committee.

Rio will provide two venues for the World Cup finals, the Maracana - which will stage the Final - and the Estadio Joao Havelange. It will then host the entire Olympics in three venue clusters around the city.

Paes said: "We still have a long way to go and what happened this weekend showed that. But we are facing these problems and we are being tough on these problems.

"We never hid our problems throughout the bidding process. We always told people that we had our problems and that we would face them and we remain confident that the policies we are introducing to Rio will make the situation much better and we are working towards developing a safe Games.

City challenge

"Our staging of the Pan-American Games in 2007 was safe. We have Carnival too and every New Year's Eve we have two million people on Copacabana Beach and that is safe.

"Yes, this is a challenge for us but we believe the city will become secure that will also make it much more secure for all of our citizens. Hosting the Olympic Games and the World Cup is a great opportunity for us to bring about the changes we need."

Sir Craig Reedie, newly-elected member of the IOC's executive board, said that everyone regreetted the violence but he was confident from everything he had learned about the Rio project that effective solutions based on both social and security concern would be put in place.

Back in Brazil the Secretary of State for Public Security, Jose Mariano Beltrame, met representatives of the command and the civilian police ahead of a further summit with Sergio Cabral, the State Governor. Cabral had taken the responsibility early on Sunday to send 3,000 police with dog support into the conflict zones.

Concerns over security in Rio echo fears raised about FIFA's decision to take the 2010 World Cup finals to South Africa. In both cases the international bodies have tried to balance reality on the ground with a wish to take the world's two biggest sports events into new regions of the world.

Keywords · Rio de Janeiro · 2016 Olympic Games · 2014 World Cup · Eduardo Paes · IOC · FIFA · Reedie

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.