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SERAPH Warning for People Traveling to the Rio Olympics DO NOT GO!

SERAPH Warning Rio Olympics 2016

SERAPH Warning Rio Olympics 2016

SERAPH has issued a warning to all travelers attending the Rio Olympics. As professionals we strongly advise you to consider not attending.

 

Recent develops such as terrorist cells in Rio and ISES threats to the games have prompted us to issue this travel advisory for the Rio Olympics.

 

The article below will also serve as evidence of a HIGH THREAT level to foreign visitors. Please read.

 

RIO DE JANEIRO—The contract to hire and train thousands of security screeners for the Olympics in Rio starting Aug. 5 was awarded only two weeks ago to a tiny firm, raising concerns about keeping the Games safe amid global fears of terrorism.

Brazil’s government waited until July 1 to award the contract to recruit and deploy thousands of private security guards needed to monitor X-ray machines and pat down spectators for weapons and other contraband outside Olympic venues, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by the federal ministry that awarded the contract.

Meanwhile, the agency that issued the tender said it had to scrap plans to install 315 additional surveillance cameras at nine Olympic facilities after the contracting process failed.

The 17.3 million reais ($5.3 million) contract was awarded to Artel Recursos Humanos, a small employment outsourcing firm that isn’t a major player in Brazil’s security industry. The firm has little or no experience providing screeners for megaevents, a person familiar with the situation said. To deliver the required services, Artel would have to hire, train and perform successful background checks on as many as 6,000 screeners in a space of five weeks, people familiar with the Olympics contract said.

One U.S. security industry expert called the tight window “staggering” for trying to pull off security for an event as massive and complex as the Olympics. By contrast, the screener contract for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver was awarded 10 months before the start of those Games; it was a year in advance for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Artel representatives didn’t respond to multiple calls and emails requesting comment.

Brazil’s Secretariat for the Security of Large Events, or SESGE, which issued the tender, said Artel met all requirements to fulfill the contract, and the government was confident qualified screeners would be in place by the start of the Games. Brazil’s Força Nacional, a group made up of police officers from around the country, will oversee the work of the private screeners hired by Artel, SESGE said.

SESGE said the additional cameras were to be used to bolster security at venues that make up the Deodoro sports complex, which will host the second-largest number of events after the main Olympic Park. Sports slated for Deodoro include the modern pentathlon, field hockey, equestrian events and early rounds of women’s basketball.

SESGE put out bids for the 11.2 million reais camera contract in early June, less than eight weeks before the Aug. 5 opening ceremonies. The agency wouldn’t provide details on why it didn’t ultimately award the contract. A person familiar with the proceedings said the tender was priced too low and issued too late to attract any serious bidders.

SESGE said existing cameras at the Deodoro complex would be sufficient. The site hosted the 2007 Pan American Games without incident.

Olympic security is in the spotlight following a spate of deadly terror attacks world-wide, including last week’s truck rampage in Nice, France.

Brazil’s minister of institutional security, Sergio Etchegoyen, on Friday said the government could introduce a series of new measures, including “more checkpoints, more barriers and some traffic restrictions.”

Authorities say around 85,000 police and military personnel will be on hand for the Olympics, Brazil’s biggest-ever show of force for a megaevent. “Rio is likely to be the safest city in the world during the Games,” a spokesman for the local Olympics organizing committee said.

‘“It should have been years in the making, whoever won the contract. Five weeks is just sort of staggering.”’

—Benjamin Yelin, University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security

Still, the recent security contract delays, particularly Brazil’s 11th-hour tender for Olympics-venue screeners, have alarmed some security experts. Benjamin Yelin, a senior law and policy analyst at the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security, called Brazil’s compressed timetable “really crazy,” given heightened terror concerns.

“It does not inspire trust,” Mr. Yelin said. “It should have been years in the making, whoever won the contract. Five weeks is just sort of staggering.”

Lack of security experience could make the task even more challenging for bid-winner Artel, which lists its headquarters as Navegantes, a coastal city of about 73,000 people in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. On its website, the outsourcing company lists experience in providing corporate clients with cleaners, doormen, receptionists and other service jobs, but cites nothing related to security.

Artel listed a clothing company as its reference for the Olympic security bid, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

While screening bags and people is low-paid work, guards need specialized, hands-on training to be effective, said Peter Martin, the chief executive of AFIMAC Global, a Miami-based security firm. “These individuals are on the front lines,“ Mr. Martin said. ”It takes some experience and practice. These are really important contracts.”

Private security screening became a scandal at the London Olympics after G4S, one of the world’s largest security firms, acknowledged less than a month before the start of the 2012 Games that it wouldn’t be able to provide enough qualified security personnel. The British military was forced to step in to assist with screening duties.

Rio has been struggling recently with a rash of security-related concerns. Shootouts have raged in several working-class neighborhoods known as favelas as police search for a suspected drug trafficker who remains at large. Police killings and muggings are up sharply through the first five months of 2016, compared with a year ago. A human foot washed ashore on Copacabana Beach in late June, yards from where beach volleyball players will compete.

A deep fiscal crisis has resulted in late paychecks for local police officers and firefighters, who have threatened to walk off the job. Members of the Força Nacional, which will assist with venue screening, have likewise threatened to strike over what they say are shoddy living conditions in Rio. Some police who arrived from other parts of Brazil last week said they were given accommodations without beds or drinking water.

The federal government recently authorized 2.9 billion reais ($884 million) in emergency funds to help cover security expenses for the Games.

 

Wall Street Journal

By

WILL CONNORS

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