Video: Striking police in Brazil warn of World Cup danger
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Brazilian federal police are on strike over working conditions with the World Cup less than four months away. They told FRANCE 24 they could not ensure the safety of people during the tournament without extra funding and help from the government.
The disgruntled officers gathered outside of Rio’s famed Maracana stadium on Wednesday, brandishing a red card in the face of President Dilma Rousseff’s government.
They say the budget allocated to federal police today is a quarter of what it used to be a decade ago. They are threatening to extend their work stoppage during the world’s biggest football event.
“You know the Cup is going to become very difficult. And I think everything will come to a halt if things don't improve for the federal police. If there's no change, we will go on strike for the whole of the World Cup,” Andre de Melo, a member of the police union, told FRANCE 24.
Federal police also complain that they get little recognition for their difficult job. Besides being in charge of immigration at Brazil’s airports, they also fight violent drug gangs and local corruption.
“How can we handle the World Cup?” asked Erminhio Ferreira, another striking federal police officer. “Our work is on the outside of the stadiums, and it's not possible to guarantee people the security they deserve.”
To see FRANCE 24’s full report on striking federal police in Brazil click on the player above.