I hate to say that I told you so (O.K. thats not true) but I did.

In view of the riots happening now in Brazil with protests over the corruption in the run up to the world cup in 2014.  I foretold problems with the 2016 Olympics. 

Because I’m a smug old devil, I hope you will forgive me for repeating my blog from last year which was in turn a repeat of my doomsayer that I published in 2009.  Obviously nobody listens to me so I shall continue to bang my drum.

 Posted on 13 August, 2012 by Jake

As I said before, here’s the thing . . . . . . Its Sunday August 12th 2012 and our memorable 2012 Olympics is coming to a close please forgive me for republishing a blog that I first published in 2009.  I still feel quite strongly about the IOC choosing the beautiful city of Rio De Janeiro for it’s next location in four years time.  You see I have been there and I’ve looked under the carpet, there is so much dirt there and its not even well hidden.

Oh no, not another five ring circus. . . . . .

I wrote in a blog in April this year, of the nasty smell of corruption coming out of the 2012 Olympic village with blatant fraud apparently being ignored and Tessa Jowell’s promised legacy turning into an expensive joke with politicians, councillors and developers all having their sticky fingers in the pie.

All I could think of when I saw that Barak Obama was flying to Denmark to pursue his home town of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics was “Great, just so long as it isn’t coming here”. Then I saw that the winner of the Olympic lottery was Rio de Janeiro and I have only just recovered from the shock to be able to write about it. The beautiful, serene, sensible one thought that I was heading for a serious brain haemorrhage. I was so stunned that I was unable to even croak “I don’t ****** believe it”. . . . .

Where have the Olympic Committee been for the past 30 years? I can only think that as part of their wining and dining, during their delegation’s visit to Rio they were also smoking wacky baccy. Perhaps they were dazzled by the beauties on Copacabana Beach sporting their Brazilian waxed bodies while ‘taking in washing’ (disgusting naval term!), in the form of their bikini thongs. Perhaps when they were taken up to see the stunning views from the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, for it does remain one of the most beautiful cities in the world, they were stopped from looking over to the East towards the Favelas.

Didn’t they see the 2007 film Trope de Elite? Have they not heard of the elite Special Forces Police unit known as the BOPA? Why do they think that Rio needs a Special Police Operations Battalion? The BOPA stands for Batalhao de Operacoes Policias Especials; their speciality is in urban warfare and is believed to be one of the most violent military forces in the world. They are equipped better than our armed forces in Afghanistan in both weapons and vehicles. Their insignia is a skull pierced by a dagger.

The Favelas are shanty towns which appear to hang from the side of the hills, looking like piles of wood and tin packing cases. About 1.3 million people live in the Favelas in Rio, most live without proper sanitation or electricity. Drug Lords control the Favelas and there are believed to be over 200,000 drug traffickers in the city. The whole place is a lawless battleground impacted by the cocaine trade. Regular shoot outs between traffickers and police and other criminals, as well as assorted illegal activities lead to murder rates in excess of 40 per 100,000 inhabitants in the city of Rio with much higher rates in the Favelas.

There were officially 5,700 homicides last year in the State of Rio de Janeiro as a whole, where the roads grow more congested every day and the whole city reeks of inequality and neglect. The public spend their lives on board a hellish transport system.

No doubt the Olympic Committee has been promised that these cesspits will be cleansed as part of their bid, but there have been so many failed attempts to cleanse the city before. In fact the population of the Favelas have increased steadily by over 24 percent after these cleansing drives. Estimates in the Rio media put the drug sales as a business which rakes in as much as 150 million US Dollars per month.

While talking of budgets the Rio bid has a proposed budget of 14.4 Billion Dollars, but this Brazilian playground hosted the Pan American Games in 2007 and then spending ballooned to 6 times the original budget and brought no long term benefits to the city.

Apart from violence, drugs, muggings, petty crime and poor sewage the city also has a deplorable traffic system with roads becoming jammed solid every single working day and that is before hosting the Olympics. It also has a great shortage of hotel rooms.

This week, when they celebrate winning their bid for 2016 the Rio newspaper ‘O Dia’ says they are haunted by the fear of corruption, the poor use of public money and the electoral use of the Olympic Games. Their Sports Minister, Orlando Silva rejects the idea that security issues would hamper a successful games in 2016 saying that security is a challenge for all countries in the worlds. Still I suppose they are lucky not having Tessa Jowell running their show!

Wey hey let’s party, let’s have a carnival and then go down to watch the girls go by on Ipanema, the sexiest beach in the World.

Even should I be spared that long, I wouldn’t go to the Olympics in Rio if I had a free ticket. Well I suppose I could go just to watch the sailing. You have the con!

JC 2009

N.B. A report in the Times on October 19th reported “Drug gangs blast a Police Helicopter out of the sky” Four officers were killed when their helicopter was caught in the crossfire between two rival drug gangs in Rio de Janeiro who were fighting a turf war when twelve gang members were killed.  Officials insisted they would be able to control any threat to security at the games.

Back to Monday August 13th 2012 The clock is now ticking for Rio 2016.  Construction work has yet to start on the Olympic Park which is still a disused race track.  Deodoro, the future site of the other main Olympic venue, which will host equestrian, shooting, hockey and BMX among others, has yet to see a bulldozer.  Some venues are tailor made for the games.  Copacabana will, naturally host beach volleyball and the famous Maracana stadium will undergo a £300million revamp for the football but this has already been hit by bribery allegations.  More than half of the projects needed for the Rio games are still on the drawing board. . . . . .the clock is ticking.

 I am saying no more on the subject.  I hope that if I am still alive and kicking in 2016 I will not be saying I told you so but no-one listened. JC

About Jake

Long retired travel writer, author and freelance journalist. Educated at Wolverton Grammar and Greenwich Naval College. Happily married since 1958, with a married son and daughter, a married granddaughter and an adult grandson. Hobbies rock-climbing, dinghy racing and ocean racing. Still regularly working out in the gym.
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