Following the last two pieces on the rampant violence that is going on in Brazil: A Favela Love Story and Brazil Battles Crime Rates, we now move the focus to the outcome of the crime, and its counterpart- the Brazilian corruption, which stands in the way of a bigger, mightier and more prosperous Brazil just like the crime and violence do.
Despair, frustration, pain, misery, poverty, crime, violence and drugs are all common sites in Brazil and especially its favelas. But all of these things don’t concern nor bother Rio de Janeiro’s economists from proudly showcasing their presentations and plans for the Olympic village. The plans are ravishing indeed and have many ideas in store for Rio. For example in Copa Cabana, the most prime and well known beach location in Rio, a huge beach volleyball stadium will be built and not far away from there, the Olympic village and the rest of the facilities will be built from scratch too.
The governor’s house is situated only a five minute drive from the Rosana favela (which we mentioned last time on A Favela Love Story), but it seems to be as if it resides not only in a different place but in a totally different reality: with glittering chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and lavish oil paintings hanging on the walls. It’s clear for everyone that in order for the governor to keep his lifestyle, the peace and order must be kept. With raging crime including kidnappings and shootouts, maintaining the order is a key challenge and goal in order for the Olympics to become a success story.
Today, some six years before the games’ opening ceremony, crime is already providing for thousands of personal bodyguards in Rio and Sao Paolo. Moreover, the homeland security market (electronic fences, anti theft systems) seems to be doing quite well with 2$ billion a year and is getting popular by the minute, with many investors and companies worldwide competing over the Brazilian market and dough. Economy experts predict that these phenomena will keep growing, “until the opening ceremony, the security market will rise by 15% yearly” says one.
Everyone wants a bite from the cake, and with a 5$ billion cake (the huge Brazilian investment in the games’ security measures) it’s no wonder. Brazil has no state comptroller, you know, the guy who inspects that everything is legit. Because of that and due to a tradition of corrupted decision makers like many developing countries, the greedy and cheeky foreign investors are not playing fair. When “any friend of El Presidente’ is a friend of the national treasury” becomes a way of life, it is no wonder that companies and even countries, pushing hard their products without no respect for the standard bureaucratic procedures.
One of the protruding companies in the field of security there is ISDS. In the 2007 Pan-America games the company was involved in 20$ million deals. The company hires retired personal from combat units who train local bodyguards and policemen. But the market is a hard market, Brazil usually allows only deals who cut in the local Brazilian companies. Nevertheless, there is enough for everyone, but experts claim that it is still a bit early to discuss tenders for safe guarding the world cup games and the Olympics, because of the elections that will be held soon. “Many projects will be postponed to after the elections. These things involve a lot of lobbying, and people who are close to power and can influence the decisions made” claims an ISDS spokesman.
Although corruption roams in Brazil, some claim it is decreasing gradually. A sign for that is the fact that the tenders for the games will be open and managed online, so theoretically they will be “fair and righteous”, but many think that in Brazil which is corruption prone, the Olympic race for money will reveal Brazil’s uglier sides.
More on Brazil: Focus on Brazil, Focus on Brazil: Only Second to the US, Focus on Brazil: The Olympics to Boost Communications, Focus on Brazil: It’s in the Oil, Focus on Brazil: Brazil Battles Crime Rates, Focus on Brazil: A Favela Love Story and Will the Olympics be a Financial Success Story part one and two.
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