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 Local

Quinn Accuses Rauner of Not Hiring Enough Minorities

Fresh
Bruce Rauner (R), Pat Quinn

Both trying to make inroads in minority communties

in Local

Library Turf War Continues

Fresh
Lincoln Presidential Museum

Major donors threaten to withhold donations unless the feuding stops

in Local

Woman Dies in Route 29 Crash Near Edinburg

medical

Illinois State Police say a van over corrected after swerving off the roadway.

in Local

Attorney Wants Parsons to Pay $1.2 Million Now, $100,000 Monthly

Jeff Parsons appears defiant as he walks out of federal court in Springfield July 10, 2014

An attorney representing former THR and Associates employees and creditors wants Jeff Parsons to pony up -- immediately.

in Local

Fake IDs are Easy to Get

id theft

Fake IDs and driver’s licenses are the scourge of the Illinois secretary of state’s office