News

Brazil invests heavily in World Cup security

Brazil invests heavily in World Cup security

WORLD CUP: Riot police patrol the Santinho beach next the Costao do Santinho hotel ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina state, Feb. 19. Photo: Reuters/Sergio Moraes

By Mark Gleeson

FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil (Reuters) – Brazil will employ 170,000 security personnel and spend close to $798 million to try and ensure a trouble-free World Cup tournament, organizers said on Thursday.

A total of 150,000 armed services and public policing forces personnel will be diverted to the month-long event that kicks off on June 12, plus a further 20,000 trained private security officers hired to bolster security.

But Brazilian government officials acknowledged they were still concerned about the possibility of violence marring the tournament, following last year’s unexpected demonstrations at the Confederations Cup.

More than a million people took to the streets during the warm-up event for the World Cup to protest against poor public services, corruption and the high cost of the stadiums.

“We have a lot of concerns, not as much about protests which are a democratic right, but rather at potential violence. We are committed to preventing violence during any protest activity,” Andrei Rodrigues, the secretary for special events at the Brazilian justice ministry, told a FIFA media conference on World Cup security.

“We are firstly seeking prevention, through dialogue with the protest movements and the gathering of intelligence. We want to separate those who want to protest peacefully from those who are vandals.

“We are confident that a safe and secure World Cup can be delivered by Brazil,” said Ralf Mutschke, security director for soccer’s world governing body FIFA.

Mutschke prefaced his remarks by saying the tournament was under a spotlight and it was “pretty easy to be concerned about the World Cup when you read about the demonstrations, violence, street crime, child prostitution and drug abuse”.

Since last June’s Confederation Cup, protests have continued, though they have become smaller and more violent with anarchist groups vandalizing store fronts and banks and clashing with police.

Any disruption of the World Cup, meant to mark Brazil’s coming of age on the global stage, would embarrass President Dilma Rousseff’s government and undermine her popularity as she prepares to seek re-election in October. ($1 = 2.38 Brazilian reais)

(Editing by Todd Benson and Rex Gowar)

Recent Headlines

in Black Friday, National

PHOTOS: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Fresh
AP353037153391_2

The 88th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade stepped off in NYC, officially ushering in the holiday season.

in National

Thanksgiving grease cooks up plumbing disasters

turkey

Thanksgiving is a royal pain in the U.S. drain.

in National

Ebola survivors thankful for ‘second chance’

ebola

Six of the nine Ebola patients treated in the U.S. met for the first time.

in National

Thanksgiving travel at a 7-year high

gas

More than 46 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday weekend.

in Black Friday, National

History of the holiday: Thanksgiving

14-overlay1

Thanksgiving celebrations date back to the first European settlements in America, but it wasn't until the 1860s that it was declared a national holiday.