Authorities in Brazil said Wednesday that body parts washed up on shore of a popular Rio de Janeiro beach near where the beach volleyball Olympic event is set to take place in August.
The latest gruesome discovery is another obstacle the city has to grapple with among the laundry list of concerns athletes and fans will have to deal with. The finding was first reported to Brazilian media by a Rio street vendor.
A police officer standing near a security perimeter confirmed the discovery to Reuters. However, it’s unclear how the mutilated body wound up on Copacabana Beach.
This year’s Olympic Games will be played on the South American continent for the first time in its history and instead of the joyous celebrations that are supposed to be going on, Rio de Janeiro is awaiting $892 million in emergency funding and an attempt to make sure that guests and athletes aren’t infected by the Zika virus or any diseases in the polluted waters surrounding the city where some events are set to take place.
The Games are also set to take place on the heels of political instability in the country as the Brazilian Senate tries President Dilma Rousseff, who is accused of using accounting tricks in the government budget, to determine whether she should leave her post for good. Her impeachment trial is set to end after the Olympics.
Earlier this week, Rio’s acting governor Francisco Dornelles said the state is still waiting for emergency funding. He warned that the Games could end up being a “big failure” because of budget shortfalls that threaten to compromise security and mobility during the games.
"How are people going to feel protected in a city without security," Dornelles was quoted as asking in an interview with Rio’s O Globo daily. "I'm optimistic about the games, but I have to show reality," he said. "We can have a great Olympics, but if some steps aren't taken, it can be a big failure."
Another worrying issue for Dornelles is the metro line that was meant to ferry tourists to the main Olympic venue in the far-western Rio area of Barra da Tijuca. Promised for late last year, the metro is still not ready. A nearly $290 million federal loan aimed at finishing the project has also not yet been released.
The discovery of the body parts came on the heels of another bloody weekend in Rio, which saw a police officer who had been serving as a bodyguard for Paes and a 34-year-old doctor killed in muggings-gone-wrong. Officer Denilson Theodoro de Souza, 48, was shot in the northern Rio neighborhood of Pavuna on Sunday. He was the 49th Rio officer killed since the start of the year, according to O Globo.
On Sunday, Gisele Palhares Gouvea was shot in the head in her car as she entered one of Rio's main expressways on her way to her home in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood.
Asked about Gouvea's slaying, Dornelles responded, "What a disaster. The security crisis is very serious."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.