Security Forces Prepare For Summer's World Cup In A Restive Brazil
Drones, bomb-detecting robots, camera glasses, rubber bullets and sound and light grenades "will all be at the ready if Brazilian police need them to quell disturbances during the FIFA World Cup," according to Mimi Whitefield of the MIAMI HERALD. The Brazilian military "also has a contingency plan in case President Dilma Rousseff calls it to the streets." For the World Cup, 150,000 police and members of the armed forces "will be involved and another 20,000 people trained in event security." FTI Consulting Latin American Chair Frank Holder said, "By my calculations, that’s a force that is three times as much as you would normally see for a World Cup. That’s a gigantic number." With the world’s eyes trained on Brazil during the World Cup, "few expect demonstrators to sit quietly at home." Plans "call for keeping them 1.24 miles away from arenas." A fleet of drones made in Israel "will be used to monitor conditions in both the stadiums and cities, and the skies over arenas will be no-fly zones, closed off to aircraft one hour before and three hours after games." Brig. Gen. Ubiratan Poty, chief of the Amazon Military Command Operations Center in Manaus, said, "Our legislation allows us to shoot down unidentified aircraft." Brazilian officials said that their goal "isn’t to prevent demonstrations but rather to prevent them from turning violent." Brazil Deputy Minister of Sports Luis Fernandes said, "We’re a democratic country and the freedom to demonstrate is a democratic right." Asked if Brazilian officials were anticipating fan violence, Poty said that "it was unlikely except perhaps in southern Brazil, which shares a border with Argentina." He said, "We expect something could happen in the South because Argentine fans are very aggressive" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/23).