Pan American Games in Brazil Will Count on 7,800 Federal Troops

A soldier from Brazil's National Security Force Brazil's Ministry of Tourism is going to invest US$ 83.8 million in the Pan American and Parapan American Games, to take place in Rio de Janeiro this year. The announcement was made last weekend by the Brazilian minister of Tourism, Walfrido dos Mares Guia.

"The Games will leave a great legacy for Brazil in terms of attracting tourists, infrastructure and security," the minister said, during a presentation of the actions to be taken by the Ministry for the Pan American Games, at the headquarters of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).

The 2007 Pan American Games will be held from July 13 to 29, while the Parapan will run from August 12 to 19, with 42 participating countries.

Investments by the Ministry include the promotion of Brazil as a tourist destination, especially Rio de Janeiro, as well as the training of 13,000 professionals in several fields of action. The Ministry will also invest in expanding the Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil's National secretary of Public Security, Luiz Fernando Corrêa, informed that the National Security Force, made up of Army soldiers and firemen, among others, will leave Rio de Janeiro as soon as the Pan American Games end. About 500 men are already in Rio since January 14. The number of soldiers will grow to 7,800 during the games.

The National Force was supposed to operate only during the games, but Rio governor, Sérgio Cabral asked that the troops be sent before due to several attacks by organized crime in Rio city and neighboring towns in the last week of 2006. The criminal attacks against buses and police stations left 24 people dead.

Corrêa said that the Army is not going to patrol Rio streets during the Pan American Games but simply provide logistic and nautical support. The policing, he said, will be done by the state police and by the National Security Force.

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