Brazil's new defense minister says Rio Games first priority

ABS-CBN Sports on May 14, 2016 10:39 AM
Brazil's new defense minister says Rio Games first priority
This April 11, 2016 photo shows Carioca Arena 1 behind palm trees inside Rio 2016 Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The arena will host Olympic basketball matches. Problems still hang over South America's first games. Brazil President Dilma Rousseff is being impeached and is likely to be suspended when the games open Aug. 5, partly fallout from Brazil's worst recession in decades, 10-percent unemployment, and a $3 billion Petrobras corruption scandal. Away from politics, the Zika virus threatens athletes and tourists. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

STEPHEN WADE
AP Sports Writer

  
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's new defense minister says the Rio de Janeiro Olympics are his first priority.

Raul Jungmann was appointed on Thursday by interim president Michel Temer, who replaced suspended President Dilma Rousseff. Rousseff is suspended for 180 days while her impeachment trial is presided over by the federal senate in Brasilia.

"My first priority is called the Rio de Janeiro Olympics," Jungmann said following his appointment. "There are only a few weeks to go and we have a strategic role in the making of the Olympic Games."

Jungmann said he would take "all necessary measures so that this event will show to the world that Brazil can be peaceful, as is the wish of everyone."

Rio is a crime-filled city and Brazil will deploy about 85,000 soldiers and police during the games, a force reported to be twice as large as London used four years ago. It's being called the largest security contingent in Brazilian history.

In a recent study, Brazil had 21 cities on a list of the world's 50 most dangerous cities.

The state of Rio de Janeiro is expected to supply about 65,000 police for security, although a recent cut of $550 million — 20 percent — from the state security budget is raising fears about meeting that goal.

"If I said the cuts won't impact anything, I wouldn't be accurate," State Security Secretary Jose Mariano Beltrame told The Associated Press during a sit-down interview this week. "I wish I could have more policemen. I wish they could work twice as much on the streets."

The defense department will supply the rest of the force, soldiers who are expected to guard Olympic venues across the sprawling metropolitan area of 12 million.

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Stephen Wade on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/stephen-wade

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