The Olympic Games are 31 days away — and Rio de Janeiro is in crisis.
Violence is on the rise, and police officers are at loggerheads with the Rio state government after claiming they’ve not been paid for months.
The message from police to tourists is clear:
We won’t be able to protect you.
The state’s police officers vented their anger Monday with a sign saying, “Welcome to Hell,” outside Rio’s main airport.
“Police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe,”
the sign said.
And it’s not just those coming from abroad who may be in danger — locals are losing patience, too.
“It seems like there is an order (from authorities) to put fear in people so they stay calm, so they don’t cause trouble in the city because the foreigners can’t see that the city is chaotic,”
Higor da Silva, a resident of the Mare favela, told CNN.
Brazil has been plagued by problems leading up to the Olympics.
In May, the Brazilian Senate voted to begin impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. Rousseff is accused of breaking budget laws, but she maintains she did the same things previous Brazilian leaders have done.
An Australian athlete was mugged close to her hotel last month, and fears over the Zika virus have led several elite athletes, including the world’s top golfer, to pull out.
And on Tuesday, a group of Brazilian scientists announced it had detected a drug-resistant bacteria growing off the shores of some of Rio’s most iconic beaches.