Rio Olympics 2016: Mutilated body parts wash up next to volleyball venue on Copacabana beach

It came after at least 10 people died during police operations to capture a drug trafficker

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 29 June 2016 22:39 BST
Body parts by Olympic beach

Parts of a mutilated body have washed up on a beach in Rio de Janeiro where beach volleyball teams will be competing within weeks at the Olympics.

Police said a foot and other parts had been found on the famous sands of Copacabana beach on Wednesday, being cordoned off by officers and covered in black tarpaulin next metres from a new stadium for August's events.

The gruesome discovery came after more than a week of deadly gun battles in the city’s slums amid attempts to capture a Brazilian drug trafficker who escaped a hospital recommended to tourists.

Trouble in Rio ahead of the Olympics

The raid to free Nicolas Labre Pereira, nicknamed “Fat Family,” left a patient dead and a nurse and an off-duty policeman wounded on 19 June.

At least 10 people have been killed and about 50 schools shut over the past nine days, the O Globo newspaper reported Wednesday.

The death toll had not been confirmed, but police said they had deployed 27 battalions of military police to areas, including the city centre and tourist sites.

The violence is adding to safety concerns in Rio during the Olympics, with officials warning have that budget shortfalls may compromise security during the games.

Last weekend, an off-duty bodyguard for the city’s mayor was shot dead in an apparent mugging and a doctor was murdered in her car on a main motorway. Earlier this month, members of the Australian Paralympic team were mugged at gunpoint.

An estimated 85,000 police officers and soldiers will be patrolling the streets during the Olympics and Paralympics, but Rio de Janeiro state's acting governor, ,Francisco Dornelles, says the state is still waiting for 2.9 billion Brazilian reals (£660million) from the federal government that is earmarked for security efforts.

Earlier this week, police and firemen demonstrated at Rio’s international airport, protesting their missed wages and greeting arriving passengers with a sign reading “Welcome to Hell”.

“The financial aspect is the big problem of Rio's public safety strategy,” said Andrei Rodrigues, a top security official at the Justice Ministry.

Killings in Rio increased to 2,036 in the first four months of the year, compared to 1,818 for the same period in 2015, according to a state tally that counts homicides, officer-involved killings and deaths as a result of robberies.

Additional reporting by AP and Reuters

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