Brazil deploys troops to secure borders for World Cup

BRASILIA Sat May 10, 2014 4:35pm EDT

An aerial view of the Tiete river is seen in the city of Sao Paulo May 8, 2014. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

An aerial view of the Tiete river is seen in the city of Sao Paulo May 8, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

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BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil began deploying 30,000 troops on Saturday to patrol its borders and beef up security for the World Cup soccer tournament that will kick off in 12 Brazilian cities next month, the Defense Ministry said.

The army, navy and air force troops will use river patrol boats, helicopters and planes to crack down on drug trafficking and other smuggling activities on BrazilĀ“s 16,900-km (10,500-mile) frontier with 10 South American nations.

Much of the border is Amazon jungle that is hard to patrol and notoriously porous, allowing undocumented immigrants easy access to the country.

Host Brazil has invited the leaders of the 31 other nations that will compete in the World Cup to watch their teams play, which will add to security concerns. Brazilian authorities say the risk of a terrorist attack is low because Brazil has no enemies.

The Brazilian Air Force will enforce no-fly zones over the soccer stadiums during the 64 games that will be played between June 12 and July 13.

The most serious security threat will likely come from a repeat of street demonstrations by Brazilians who turned out in mass last year during a warm-up for the World Cup to protests against poor public services, corruption and the great expense of building the stadiums.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (2)
MonitorLizard wrote:
Nevermind the borders. It’s the crazed, demented fans Brazil needs to worry about.

May 12, 2014 8:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Universalist wrote:
It seems likely that Brazilians will use this opportunity to voice their grievances through international media outlets covering the World Cup. Outside threats would seem to be minor compared to the disgruntled citizenry. We can also assume that we will get much more than football/soccer coverage from certain networks. CNN is probably the best at getting the most redundant mileage out of any story. Hopefully they’ll put Richard Quest (now aviation correspondent, once business advisor) on something inside Brazil that will add to the excitement of the Cup. It is a shame that Brazil, a leader in ethanol production and greenness has so many unhappy citizens. Hope they use this opportunity well.

May 12, 2014 2:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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