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National Force to provide security for Rio 2016 Olympics

The National Security Force (FNS) will provide security at the main competition venues, accommodation and communication locations of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The announcement was made Wednesday (May 6) in Rio by the Ministry of Justice’s Special Security Secretary for Large-Scale Events, Andrei Rodrigues.

According to him, the purpose of using the National Force is to provide security for the event without impacting ordinary public security operations in Rio, which will continue to be provided by military and civil police.

Managed by the Ministry of Justice (MJ), the FNS consists of a pool of 13,000 military police officers from various Brazilian states, who receive specific training for special situations. The exact contingent that will be deployed to Rio is still to be defined.

The National Force will protect key facilities of the event. “We’ll be in charge of some of the competition and training venues and the Olympic Village, covering 41% of the facilities, which will welcome fans, athletes, media staff, and referees. The other areas will be handled by the Olympic Committee,” Andrei explained. The Committee’s budget for private security is $82.84 million. The federal government will spend $115 million, including on equipment that will be left as legacy to the state.

According to Rodrigues, the National Force will begin its mission in July 2016, one month before the start of the games, and will stay on for up to ten days after the Paralympics is over. Retired military police officers from Rio de Janeiro are also being considered as reinforcements.

The security concerns include anti-terrorism efforts, with 204 countries participating in the event, many of which are currently facing conflicts and terrorist attacks. Efforts are being made, including through international cooperation, to prevent attacks during the Olympics.

“Extensive [coordinate] efforts are being put in place for public security, intelligence, national defense and emergency management. We’ll rely on an intelligence cooperation center [run by the Brazilian Intelligence Agency] with more than 100 countries willing to participate. Brazil will ensure the same level of quality security as it has always ensured in major events,” said Rodrigues.

According to the secretary, foreign police officers will not be allowed to carry weapons at the event, except for the heads of state’s own security staff. Brazil’s Armed Forces will provide security to strategic areas, territorial sea, and airspace, while also providing reserves if needed. The Federal Police will provide security for authorities, airport security, and border control.

Translated by Mayra Borges

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