Ever since the International Olympic Committee selected Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games, all I have heard in every conversation on the subject (which was the hot topic even at tango last night) is how will the country deal with the tremendous crime rate.
Today’s Bloomberg article points out how high:
Rio is one of the most violent cities in the world, according to a ranking by Web site RealClearWorld. Home to about 7 million people, it recorded 2,069 murders last year compared with 510 in Chicago, a city of 2.8 million and a finalist contender for the games.
Including the police’s own rogue squad,
The police commit one in five of the murders, according to the United Nations high commissioner for Human Rights.
The gang’s are out of control,
Stray bullets from rival drug gangs battling to control more than 1,000 shantytowns ringing the so-called “Marvelous City” claim dozens of lives each year, police say. The gangs often stop traffic along the main airport road to steal money and cell phones. So-called flash-kidnappings — where victims are taken to ATMs to withdraw cash — are also common, the security secretariat says.
Rio’s bid to the IOC proposed investments of $11.1 billion, mostly on infrastructure, but on Friday O Globo reported that the government is putting together a commission to come up with a final budget. Whether that budget will even show a crime containment amount remains to be seen.
While Brazil has all the potential to become a world power, its problems are deep; Carlos Alberto Montaner explains how far the country has to go before it’s even in the running – IF (a very big if) they are so inclined to begin with
Brazil is the size of the United States, with a population of 200 million, and has certain partially developed zones, such as Sao Paulo. But it is far from being a regional power. Brazil’s economy totals barely $2 trillion, and the nation is not the leader or an innovative force in any really important field. More than 30 percent of its population is very poor.
It has one of the world’s most unequal distributions of income, while its annual per-capita income, measured in terms of purchasing power parity, is barely $10,000. Eight Latin American countries surpass it in this regard, and one of them, Chile, does so by 50 percent.
Brazil’s level of corruption — 3.5, according to Transparency International — is shameful and worse than that of several African countries.
It maintains a protected economy that hampers competition and intense international trade. The Index of Economic Freedom assigns it a value of 56.7, which translates into a “nonfree economy” (the Index contains 104 countries that are freer than Brazil). Its bureaucracy is slow and clumsy. Its universities are mediocre, with few excellent learning centers. The number of its original scientific patents is ridiculously low, smaller than that of Israel, whose population is only eight million.
Brazil has much to gain,
The games will inject $51.1 billion into Latin America’s largest economy through 2027 and add 120,000 jobs a year through 2016, according to a study by a Sao Paulo business school for the Ministry of Sports.
So does Lula:
Lula, who must step down next year after his second term, may be more than a spectator at the 2016 Olympics. With his legacy cemented by landing South America’s first games, and a 77 percent approval rating after almost seven years in office, he’s an automatic contender to run again in 2015.
Meanwhile, over at Copacabana beach, there’s a new celebration party going on today.