The Rio Summer Olympics are looking more and more like a very bad idea. Zika is driving away hundreds of athletes and journalists, body parts and poop have been found in the competition waterways, and the city itself is in a “state of calamity.” And if you thought Rio’s troubles couldn’t get worse, now the city’s police can’t promise basic public safety.
Rio’s police are protesting due to Brazil’s financial troubles, as the nation faces the worst recession since 1901. Their main grievance is that more than fifty police have died in Rio so far this year. Meanwhile, budget cuts are so severe they have to solicit the community to donate toilet paper, and their salaries haven’t been paid. Police have responded by staging protests, including one at the airport with a banner reading “Welcome To Hell” that greeted Olympic arrivals.
There have already been problems for those brave enough to show up. German broadcasters saw a truck with $445,000 worth of equipment get hijacked. There are allegations Olympic funds have been embezzled by Brazilian authorities, which appear to have yet to be investigated. Still, there’s no sign the IOC is considering canceling or delaying the Olympics. As far as anyone is aware, the ceremonies will begin August 5.