Mutilated Body Washes Up Meters From Olympic Beach Volleyball Venue In Rio
Parts of a mutilated body "have washed up on the sands of Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro just meters from where beach volleyball athletes will compete in the upcoming Olympics," according to REUTERS. The discovery "is the latest to unnerve the city as it grapples with rising crime, a recession and exhausted state finances at a time when it hoped to be celebrating the first Olympics ever held in South America." It was unclear "what conditions may have led to the mutilated body but a policeman standing guard by a security perimeter confirmed its existence." The Olympics were "intended to show off an economic boom that has since fizzled in Latin America's biggest country." Now the Games come as the state of Rio de Janeiro "awaits emergency funding" of R$2.9B ($904M) to ensure financing for public services. The Olympics also "will play out with a backdrop of political instability" as Brazil’s senate tries suspended President Dilma Rousseff, who is accused of "accounting tricks in the government budget, to determine whether she will be ousted for good." The trial is "expected to finish after the Games" (REUTERS, 6/29).
WAITING FOR THE METRO: In Rio, Lise Alves reported Rio de Janeiro officials "rushing to get everything ready for the 2016 Olympics in August received bad news" from the federal government. The loan to finish the construction of Metro Line 4, which will take visitors to see the Games in Barra da Tijuca, "will not be authorized if the state does not pay its creditors first." Treasury Secretary Ana Paula Vescovi said, "Credit operations must follow the parameters of the National Treasury. Among them is that the state is compliant. Without it, we will not endorse any new loans. We are not introducing any rules. They are already there." The state has been negotiating an R$1B ($312M) loan from Brazil’s Development Bank, "but this type of loan needs to be approved by the country’s Treasury." On June 17, Rio de Janeiro acting Governor Francisco Dornelles declared a financial emergency and "warned that the state may not be able to comply with all of its obligations during the Olympic and Paralympic events." Last week, the Brazilian federal government announced R$2.9B-worth "in financial aid to Rio de Janeiro to help the state put on the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games" (RIO TIMES ONLINE, 6/29).