Rio 2016 Olympic Games Preparation

Monday May. 16, 2016

Rio 2016 Olympic Games Preparation

Last week, the Brazilian Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor (55 to 22) to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and begin the impeachment trial process. I interviewed my former Brazilian colleagues to better understand the local perception. Are Brazilians skeptical of interim President Michel Temer's plans? Will Rousseff actually step down?

The upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic games preparation was not top of mind for the local community. In contrast to the international community's focus on Brazil's preparedness for the Games, many Brazilians are more concerned with whether their government will collapse or if corruption will continue to run rampant among the political elite.

Despite some Brazilians' ambivalence towards to upcoming sporting event, high levels of crime, poor infrastructure, increasing political tension, and a hard-hit economy are a few of the obstacles that the Rio de Janeiro government is facing wth the RIo 2016 Olympic Games Preperation. With up to one million visitors likely to arrive in Rio in early August, the domestic economic and political challenges could become international concerns.

As the Brazil expert on the Americas Team at iJET, I have been watching closely and assessing the challenges that foreigners will likely face in Rio de Janeiro. In the first of three iJET Special Reports focused on Rio 2016, I offer a thorough security and threat assessment of the event.

As Brazil moves forward with the impeachment trial against Rousseff, adjusts to Temer's administration, and works to improve the economic situation, there could be increased civil unrest and disruptive strikes and protests against what many of Rousseff's supporters are calling an institutional coup d'tat.

In order to provide the most current and relevant information on the situation, I will be traveling to Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia from July to August. I will host a live webinar broadcast on-the-ground in Rio on July 28, detailing the latest developments and what security concerns the international community can expert during the Games. Further information and registration for this live event will be provided in my next post, so be sure to keep reading.

Abbott Matthews is an Intelligence Analyst for the Americas Team at iJET International. Following her graduation from Colby College in 2013 with a BA in Latin American Studies and Government, she worked with the Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies in Washington, D.C., a US government regional security organization that works closely with security and education partners in the Western Hemisphere. Abbott has spent time abroad in Spain, Uruguay, and Colombia for study and field research.

In 2014, Abbott moved to Brasilia, Brazil for a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Brasilia; in 2015, Fulbright selected her to continue working with university’s programs in addition to supporting new Fulbright Scholars in the country. In addition to Fulbright work, she also worked with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as a research assistant on regional security issues. As a regional expert, Abbott speaks Portuguese and Spanish fluently.

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