By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Concerned with the recent terrorist bombing at the Istanbul airport in Turkey, Brazilian officials are stepping up their security for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, scheduled for August and September. Officials have announced several security measures including Marine personnel at Copacabana Beach and extra security at airports.
“Despite all the effort and preparation, events like those [the bombing at Istanbul airport] generate alerts. The ministry is taking a special look at these areas. The forces are already prepared. We already have measures that will be adopted but can not be disclosed for security reasons. We’re monitoring and prepared to prevent and act,” announced the Minister of Transport, Ports and Civil Aviation, Mauricio Quintella, this week after meeting with security officials for the Games.
From July 24 to the end of the Paralympic Games in September, Brazilian marines and other security officials, totaling approximately 2,700, will be working to combat terrorism; potential nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological attacks; and drug trafficking. Military personnel are also expected to tighten security in tunnels and roads going into and out of Copacabana Beach.
The Brazilian Navy will be responsible for security in competition locations for sports such as beach volleyball, triathlon, cycling road, and swimming marathon, (Copacabana), sailing (Marina da Glória), rowing and canoeing (Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas) and the marathon (Aterro do Flamengo).
Officials also said they are discussing the possibility of placing extra security at Rio’s two airports (Tom Jobim International and Santos Dumont). During the Games private aircrafts are prohibited from landing or taking off in Rio airports between 8AM and 10PM. These aircrafts will have travel to airports outside the city of Rio.
The Minister announced the release of an online guide, “Airports in Rio 2016”, with information about Brazilian airports, to guide domestic and foreign tourists in transit through the country.