RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer on Saturday expressed confidence in this city’s ability to pull off a successful Olympic Games, as fresh data on surging crime rates underscored the troubled preparations for the event.
Speaking at the inauguration of a subway line that Rio’s state government barely finished in time for the Olympics, Mr. Temer insisted Rio is ready to be “the capital of the world” starting Aug. 5, when the Games kick off.
“I am absolutely certain Rio de Janeiro will do Brazil an extraordinary service by showing the whole world that Brazil is capable,” Mr. Temer told reporters after riding the train.
A day earlier, Rio’s state Institute of Public Security released fresh data showing murders, muggings and carjackings rose last month in the capital. Killings by police officers more than doubled to 49 people from 24 in June 2015.
With violent crime on the rise in Rio and a spate of lone-wolf terror attacks taking place around the world in recent months, security tops the list of concerns for Brazilian authorities, as they finish preparing for the Games.
On Friday, the federal government dropped a plan to have a private contractor provide security screening at Olympic venues after it managed to hire just 500 of the 3,400 workers it needed. Instead, a reserve force of police from around the country will step in to operate X-ray machines and check visitors on their way into venues, Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said.