On March 2, Lieutenant General Luiz Felipe Linhares Gomes, Chief of the Special Office for Major Events for the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, briefed the Perry Center staff and faculty and other members of the National Defense University on the security preparations for the 2016 Olympics.
Brazil has a lot of recent experience providing security for major special events, General Linhares pointed out. In 2011, Brazil hosted the FIFA Confederations Cup, in 2014 the FIFA World Cup, and, most recently in 2015, the Pan American Games. The 2016 Olympics may be the biggest event in the country’s history. Over 200 countries are expected to send more than 10,000 athletes to the world games. The sporting events will be held in 38 locations around the country. As such, the Olympics Games represent a high visibility event with immense international attention.
Brazil’s security preparations for the event involve an extensive interagency government coordination effort with representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defense, airport and border police, and the Brazilian Intelligence Agency. Although the Brazilian military is not the primary responsible for providing security to the events, General Linhares explained that it is considered a key component of the apparatus being deployed especially for contingency actions against cyber threats, strategic infrastructures, control of coastal areas, and logistical support.
The Olympics are scheduled for 5-21 August 2016. The 2016 Summer Paralympics will follow from 7-21 September and will involve an estimated 4,350 athletes from nearly 179 countries.