Brazilian first responders on Monday welcomed people to Rio de Janeiro’s airport with a sign that read “Police and firefighters don’t get paid. Whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.”
The Brazilian city of more than six million people will host this year’s Olympic summer games. In recent weeks, assaults on Olympic athletes and killings of police officers have raised concerns as to whether the city can handle international attention. Large swaths of the city are slums where crime is rampant and difficult to control. Officials have complained they have too little money to fight these problems.
Rio de Janeiro’s acting governor recently said the games may be a “big failure” because the federal government has not paid the equivalent of more than $800 million toward funding infrastructure related to the games. “How are people going to feel protected in a city without security,” the governor said.
Brazil has a little more than a month to soothe concerns the country can handle hosting the Olympics for the first time. The games begin Aug. 5.
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