By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Military and civil police in Rio have been in training this week, along with the city’s municipal guards, learning crowd control techniques in the run-up to major events to be held in Brazil in the near future. At the end of the course, seventy-six trainees took part in a mock civil disorder exercise, using non-lethal weapons, to show off their new skills.
Training centered on public order management and coordination, in the run-up to major sporting events in the city, and specialist trainers were brought in from Spain – which itself has experience in hosting major international events.
Some 4,520 police officers are expected to be trained in 2013 – with specialists from Spain, the U.S. and the Ministry of Justice sharing both practical and theoretical knowledge and experiences with Rio’s security forces.
Further training is expected later this year to help Rio’s security forces deal with more violent situations involving crowds.
Rio is co-hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup this year and main FIFA World Cup in 2014, and is the main host city the 2016 Olympics – all of which will see hundreds of thousands, even millions, of additional tourists descending on the city.
World Youth Day 2013, an international events organized by the Catholic Church to unite young Christians from around the world, will also take place later this year in Rio, bringing considerable crowds.
Juan Francisco Molina, of the Spanish police, said he was encouraged by Rio’s progress: “We believe Brazilian police are highly-qualified, with well-established protocols, and are prepared to face the major events that are set to come to Rio,” he was quoted as saying.
Read more (in Portuguese)
* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.