RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 3 (UPI) — Amnesty International reports that police killings in Olympic host city Rio de Janeiro have increased by 103 percent as the opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday.
The 103 percent increase was seen between the months of April, May and June when compared to the same months of last year. Rio de Janeiro police killed 49 people in June this year, 40 in May and 35 in April, according to data from the Institute for Public Security of the State of Rio de Janeiro.
More than 2,600 people have been killed in the city since it won the bid to host the Summer Olympic Games in 2009, Amnesty International said.
“Just when we thought the levels of police brutality could not get any more shocking, they do. Brazil has lost the Olympics even before they started. The seemingly unstoppable rise in killings by the police has put any chance of a positive Olympic legacy in the area of public security in serious doubt,” Atila Roque, director of Amnesty International Brazil, said in a statement. “A shadow of death has set over Rio de Janeiro and it seems the authorities only care about how pretty the Olympic Park looks.”
Amnesty International’s report comes as the city of Rio de Janeiro said it would increase its deployed police force from 10,400 to nearly 14,000 by suspending vacations and special leave during the Olympic Games, a surge of more than 30 percent.
Amnesty International also released its first monthly report of the CrossFire phone application. The app was launched on July 5 and gathers reports from people living in Rio de Jainero who witness gun shootings and armed violence. The app, which has more than 35,000 downloads, reported that people witnessed 756 shootings in which 51 people died.