First, let’s look at the facts.
Brazil is a country who loves their soccer and when Brazil announced that they would be hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer, 78% of their population were in support. Fast forward to a new poll released this May that shows a huge decline in this support – down to only 48% supporters and an increase in those that actively oppose the event.
Responding to this decline and the increase in opposition, Brazil is stepping forward to enhance their security for this summer’s World Cup.
"We have a lot of concerns, not so much about protests which are a democratic right, but rather about potential violence. We are committed to preventing violence during any protest activity," a Justice Ministry official, Andrei Rodrigues, told reporters.
So before you purchase that coveted ticket, let’s take a closer assessment of Brazil’s security and potential concerns:
Terrorism is a concern.
According to Brazilian authorities, the risk of an external terrorist attack is low since Brazil has no enemies. However, Brazil has invited the leaders of the competing nations to watch their teams play for the World Cup. The introduction of 31 nation leaders to the security mix definitely adds concerns for security, and the possibility of ‘lone wolf’ attacks by followers of known terrorist groups.
The Civil and Military police are actively preparing their counterterrorism efforts for the month long event with extensive field training exercises. The Brazilian government invested approximately $860 million to ensure security at the World Cup is up to par.
Trafficking is a concern.
Brazil began deploying troops in the beginning of May along its border to begin ramping up security for the soccer tournament. Roughly 30,000 troops will oversee the borders monitoring for drug trafficking and other smuggling activities.
Stadiums not finished. Staff training delayed.
Having a stadium to train and run security scenarios is essential to security and fan safety. Only ½ of the World Cup stadiums were delivered for the December deadline and some are still being delivered. Additional infrastructure projects originally included have been scrapped as well. Not having the structure ready to train properly is a red flag indicating that if an issue arises, staff will not be ready to handle.
Rioting is a major concern.
With the weeks leading up to the 2014 World Cup, we've seen a number of news clippings from major media outlets reporting democratic protests escalating into riots, resulting in serious injury and death, a few hundred yards from World Cup venues and even locations where the 2016 Olympics are planned to be held.
Conclusion: The World Cup isn't safe for us.
Yes, 170,000 security professionals are expected to be deployed across the 12 host cities, but from our assessment it appears the increased security will and has caused brisk retaliation from the Brazilian population. Consequently, more pressure from the Defense Ministry is resulting in a build up from the locals, exploding into what appears to be the beginning of mass robberies throughout tourist locations and more riots.
We love soccer too but based on our assessment we will be watching the 2014 World Cup tournament safely and securely from the comfort of our couches. Now on to perfecting the perfect caipirinha to enjoy during the games!
Sources: BBC, Yahoo, Reuters, NPR, Nation, FIFA