BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil's armed forces could be called on to contain possible violent protests during the upcoming World Cup, President Dilma Rousseff said Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters from the northeastern state of Alagoas, Rousseff said federal law enforcement officers will be used to beef up local police forces in the 12 cities where World Cup games will be played and that the equivalent of $791 million is being spent to this end.
"And if necessary we will also mobilize the armed forces," she added.
"We will guarantee the security of fans, tourists, teams and the chiefs-of-state that will visit us. I am certain we will host the cup of cups," Rousseff said.
The fears of violence during the World Cup stem from last June's protests that erupted around Brazil against bus fare hikes, corruption, poor public services and the billions of dollars being spent on the World Cup and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Last month, the Rio de Janeiro state government announced that a special police battalion had been created to help control violent demonstrations expected during the World Cup and other large sporting and cultural events held in public venues.