Brazilian police have been often criticized for brutality against slum dwellers, but nothing they normally face will prepare them for expected demonstrations and huge crowds. Police are training to deal with both protests and possible riots.
During Friday’s drills, FRANCE 24’s correspondent Delano D’Souza watched as several people posed as protesters, throwing tennis balls and coconuts at Rio’s anti-riot police who, in turn, fired on the rioters with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Not Just Protesters and Rioters
Last week, it was reported that intercepted cell phone calls between members of the PCC crime organization revealed that PCC intends to organize prison strikes and to attack police officers during the World Cup 2014 games in Brazil. The cell phone calls intercepted originated within Brazilian prisons, where imprisoned crime bosses continue to run their criminal organizations by use of mobile phones smuggled into the prisons. The planned terrorist attacks would further thin out the already-stretched Brazilian law enforcement authorities.
Recent Civil Unrest in Brazil Worries Australians
Recent civil protests over an increase in bus fares and insufficient spending on public services became massive. Yahoo News reports:
Australian officials got a taste of what might confront them next year when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters before the Socceroos lost 6-0 to Brazil in a friendly Brasilia in September.
To deal with this, Brazil mobilized 54,000 police officers for the recent Confederations Cup, played in late June 2014. During the Confederations Cup, Brazil also deployed more than 1,000 military anti-terrorism specialists.