Visitors arriving in Rio this week were greeted with a “Welcome to Hell” banner at the airport and “We Don’t Have Hospitals” lettering on the highway.
Police held a large banner at the airport that read, “Police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.”
Nearly a month before the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio police have reportedly been saying that the “unavailability of equipment could prove dangerous during” the Games.
Last week, Rio’s largest hospital was reportedly attacked as “more than 20 armed men stormed the hospital” to free a drug kingpin. One person died while two were reportedly injured. In addition, Rio Mayor Francisco Dornelles’s body guard and a 34-year-old doctor were also reportedly killed over the weekend. According to local news outlets, 49 police officers in Rio have been killed this year.
Dornelles has warned that the games could be a “big failure” if “some steps aren’t taken.”
“How are people going to feel protected in a city without security,” Dornelles reportedly asked. ”I’m optimistic about the Games, but I have to show reality.”
This week, Sidney Levy, the CEO of the Rio Organizing Committee, said his greatest fear was a “lone-wolf” terrorist attack during the games.
Fears of the Zika virus has led many prominent athletes to pull out of the games, but athletes participating in the games may have plenty of other health concerns. The Associated Press reported that Guanabara Bay, for instance, “has shown astronomically high level of viruses for which the state is not testing.” Levy said Rio “failed” on its promise to clean 80 percent of its water pollution in time for the Summer Games.
The Associated Press has reported that Guanabara Bay has shown astronomically high level of viruses for which the state is not testing. One of the main metro lines is also reportedly not even close to being ready for the games.