Brazil insists 2014 World Cup will be peaceful
The Brazilian government promised FIFA on Tuesday that there will be ''peace and tranquility'' in Brazil when the country hosts the 2014 World Cup.
Justice Minister Luiz Paulo Barreto made the comments as Rio de Janeiro tries to contain a surge in violence, with gang members blocking roads and setting cars on fire in the city expected to host the World Cup final four years from now.
Barreto downplayed the recent concerns, saying security will reach its maximum level during the World Cup.
''We will be at an advanced level, with the police properly prepared,'' he said in the opening of a three-day meeting with government officials, local authorities and FIFA executives in the nation's capital. ''The competition will take place in an environment of a lot of peace and tranquility.''
Security was beefed up on Tuesday on the streets of Rio following the weekend wave of violence by armed men believed to be retaliating for law enforcement's takeover of shantytowns. The pacification effort aims to have 40 slums in the hands of police and free of drug traffic by 2014.
Barreto said Rio, which will host the 2016 Olympics, and the 11 other World Cup host cities will have command centers from which various Brazilian and international law enforcement organizations can work in unison.
American Ambassador Thomas Shannon attended the event and expressed confidence that Brazil will be a safe venue for both the World Cup and the Olympics. Rio's tourism department also stated their support for the city's long-term safety policy.
Some of the issues being discussed in the meeting include response to crisis, anti-terrorism measures and crowd control in stadiums.