Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil riot police simulate angry crowd control in Rio

Rio de Janeiro riot police training Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The exercise included controlling a simulated unruly crowd which attacked riot police

Riot police in Rio de Janeiro have undergone training in crowd control ahead of the Brazil football World Cup.

The exercise involved the military police, with 50 of them playing the part of unruly protesters.

A helicopter monitored the "march" next to Rio's Sambadrome in order to inform the actions of agents on the ground.

After fresh violent street unrest, the Brazilian government recently announced plans to deploy up to 170,000 security personnel during the World Cup.

President Dilma Rousseff said the armed forces could also be brought in if needed.

Since last June, protesters have staged a number of street marches, with some violent episodes, raising concerns about security at the tournament.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption During the exercise, some Rio police agents pretended to be an angry crowd of protesters
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The police also displayed full riot gear on Wednesday
Image copyright AFP
Image caption During the simulated exercise, two protesters were arrested by riot policemen
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Police used pepper spray and tear gas to control the "unrest"
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The commander of the riot police admitted that authorities were caught by surprise last year by large demonstrations during the Confederations Cup warm-up tournament

Brazil is also preparing to host the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

But the focus is now on the World Cup, which kicks off on 12 June.

Police admit they were caught by surprise by the large demonstrations which took place last year during the warm-up tournament Confederations Cup.

More than a million people took to the streets to protest against corruption and excessive spending on preparations for the World Cup and the Olympics

"We learned that each day is a continued process of learning for all of us. The Confederations Cup was a laboratory for the World Cup and even later for the Olympics," the commander of Rio's riot police, Colonel Andre Luiz Vidal, told Efe news agency.

Earlier this month, a cameraman died after being hit by fireworks apparently let off by protesters.

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