Brazil's Olympic committee backs Rio's police
Olympic organizers promised ''total security'' for the 2016 Rio Games on Friday and defended police efforts to curb a weeklong wave of violence in the city.
Nearly 200 people have been arrested or detained since the start of the widespread violence Sunday. More than 96 buses and cars have been burned on major roadways, many motorists have been robbed and police outposts have been shot in the city that will host the final match of the 2014 World Cup along with the 2016 Olympics.
''We publicly express total support to the public security policy being conducted ... and can assure that the games in 2016, and also the test events that will be held in 2015, will take place in an atmosphere of total security,'' Rio organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman said in a statement.
''We reiterate our full confidence in the peace project in Rio de Janeiro ... in order to benefit all the population in the short, medium and long term,'' Nuzman added.
Over the past two years, authorities have established permanent police posts in 13 slums as part of an effort to bring basic services to the communities and rid them of violence related to drug trafficking.
In Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee expressed confidence that security of the games will be assured in 2016.
''Security arrangements fall under the responsibility of governments,'' the IOC said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. ''In the past, Rio and Brazil have shown that they are able to host major events safely and we have full confidence in the Brazilian authorities' capacity to deliver a safe games in six years' time.
''The IOC has discussed the security issue directly with Rio 2016 and express confidence that there will be adequate security for the games.''
Ricardo Teixeira, president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, said the World Cup would also take place in a safe environment.
''I recognize the efforts undertaken by the state of Rio de Janeiro to reduce urban violence,'' Teixeira said in a statement. ''I can assure the sporting community that Rio de Janeiro will have the climate of normality needed for the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.''