Brazil to intensify Olympic security checks after Nice attack

Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:37pm EDT
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By Paulo Prada

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil will step up security cordons, add further roadblocks and frisk more visitors in Rio de Janeiro for next month's Olympic Games to increase security after the truck massacre in France, the government said on Friday.

Already on guard because of recent attacks in Paris, Brussels and Orlando, Brazilian officials met to re-assess preparations for the Games, which start Aug 5 and are expected to attract as many as 500,000 foreign visitors.

Authorities had earlier decreed holidays and banned trucks in some areas of the sprawling city for peak periods of the Olympics to ease congestion and improve emergency response capabilities.

Officials said on Friday they would also increase the number of security perimeters, spot-checks of visitors and roadblocks across Rio.

Because of longer lines and more inspections for those attending events, the enhanced measures "may mean sacrificing comfort for the sake of security," said Sergio Etchegoyen, Brazil's minister of institutional security.

Overall, though, Brazil on Friday sought to reaffirm the security plan it has been developing in recent years, along with foreign partners.

"Brazil is confident about its preparations," Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani told Reuters. "Personnel are ready, all the protocols have been followed and we are employing the most modern security and defense techniques."

In addition to a deployment of about 85,000 police, soldiers and other security personnel, over the twice the size of the force used at the London Olympics in 2012, Brazil has been cooperating with foreign intelligence services and militaries to share information, tactics and strategy.   Continued...

Brazilian army forces soldiers are pictured as they attend a training against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro Air base, Brazil July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino