By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Less than twenty days after the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, security forces are once again in the city to guarantee the safety of athletes and visitors during the 2016 Paralympic Games, starting today, September 7th and ending on September 18th.
Although the Paralympic Games will have a lower number of events and athletes participating than those seen in the Olympics, held in August, more than twenty three thousand armed forces personnel will be at hand during the Games, the same number present at the Olympics.
Security agents will also once again be deployed to major infrastructure works, such as water plants and power stations in and on the outskirts of the city.
“All facilities that provide energy services, telecommunications, water, fuel, things that can impact the game,” the head of Social Communication of the Eastern Military Command, Colonel Mario Felizardo Medina was quoted by Agencia Brasil as saying.
As in the Olympics, armed forces will also patrol major tourists spots, such as Christ the Redeemer or Sugarloaf Mountain and be present along Copacabana beach. Rio’s two airports will also be guarded by armed forces personnel.
As for the competition venues, such as the Deodoro Stadium, the Olympic Park and the Olympic Village, the armed forces will be present outside while the National Force will be patrolling the inside of the venues.
For the opening ceremony at Maracana Stadium on Wednesday the same security plan used for the Olympics will be implemented.
The plan includes the security of the Itamaraty Palace, where a cocktail before the start of the opening ceremony will be held for foreign heads of state hosted by President Michel Temer.