Rudy Giuliani to be security consultant for 2016 Rio Olympics
According to the Daily News, Rudy Giuliani has signed on as a "security consultant" for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro:
"He's going to help us in day-to-day security and, especially, with an eye toward... the Olympic Games," said Sergio Cabral, the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, after eating lunch with Giuliani [on Thursday].
This reminded me of a post by Suzy Khimm I read at TNR's The Plank a while ago: "Could the Olympics Mean More Misery for Rio's Poor?"
The answer, clearly, is yes:
Security crackdowns in Rio de Janeiro have often amounted to police raids on the sprawling shantytowns, home to a third of the city's population, where drug traffickers have ensconced themselves. The resulting gun battles have killed scores of innocent bystanders -- predominately poor and working-class residents of the favelas -- thus contributing to the stunning 2,069 murders that happened in Rio last year. Yes, the traffickers themselves are ruthless, exerting a mafia-like control over the shantytowns they occupy and burning buses full of civilians to retaliate against police pushback. But Brazilian police have fed the cycle of violence by acting outside the law, committing extrajudicial killings and massacres that human rights groups and the U.N. itself have denounced. (Off-duty police officers have even taken to forming their own gang-like militias, which now control some 15 percent of Rio's slums.) It's a legacy of Brazil's oft-forgotten military dictatorship, whose worst atrocities were often carried out by the country's division of "military police" and who were never held accountable for their crimes. As a result, certain divisions of the military police have continued to act with impunity in an otherwise burgeoning democracy -- and the favela crackdowns bring out their worst instincts.
Such police "occupations" -- as Brazilian authorities call them -- have continued under Rio's new mayor, Eduardo Paes, a centrist elected on a law-and-order platform. Having clinched the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Paes will likely have carte blanche to do what he wants on the security front.
Any surprise Rudy took the job? Aside from the money for him and his firm, Giuliani Security & Safety, he'll fit right in, what with his preference for police crackdowns at the expense of the poor and other undesirables. At least he was held accountable in New York -- or at least what he did was generally known. (It's true that crime rates dropped during Giuliani's terms as mayor, but it's not clear that they did so because of Giuliani -- rates were dropping nationally already. Regardless, with the police unleashed, Giuliani certainly put security before civil rights, and he'll bring that to Rio.) There'll be no such transparency in Rio, where he'll be able to get away with advocating however much brutality he likes.
More misery for Rio's poor? You betcha.
And with Rudy there, what with his penchant for fascist thuggery, it'll only be worse.