RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The city of Rio de Janeiro has requested backup from federal troops to enforce security during Brazil’s Carnival festivities in February as it seeks to shield tourists and locals from rising crime.
Over 6 million people, including roughly 1.5 million foreign visitors, are expected to take to the streets of Rio for the annual Carnival celebrations in the second week of February.
Thousands of army troops were deployed last year to quell a crime wave in Brazil’s second-largest city, which has struggled to maintain public services amid a deep recession.
Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella and the head of tourism agency Riotur Marcelo Alves told journalists on Thursday the city government had formally requested federal support.
“When over 6 million gather to celebrate, federal support is more than necessary,” Alves said.
He added that the city government will also hire around 3,400 private security agents to aid policing efforts.
Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Susan Thomas