Threatening a strike during the World Cup, Federal police in Brazil staged a protest on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach, calling for better working conditions, higher wages and restructuring of their career paths. Close to two hundred agents, registrars and fingerprint specialists from the professional services of the federal police marched on Rio’s Avenida Atlântica to contest, what they deem, a “failed” public safety system. André Vaz de Mello, the president of the Union of Servers of the Federal Police Department of the State of Rio de Janeiro, said, “We will wait until the World Cup, but we stand with Brasília’s and the other states’ proposal: stop [working] during the World Cup, mainly at airports,” according to Agência Brasil.
Besides investigating crimes against the federal government, the federal police play a key role in airport and border control services. They are in charge of issuing Brazilians’ passports and conducting border control enforcement at frontiers and airports across the country. A federal police strike during the World Cup, when half a million visitors are expected to arrive in Brazil, could create bottlenecks and delays at airports. “At the airport, it’s complicated because only federal police know how to do border control service work, so no one will replace us easily,” says Vaz de Mello. “Unless the government opens the gates and lets in terrorists, fugitives of law and all. It’s the government’s call, if it wants to maintain safety during the World Cup or open the gates,” threatened Vaz de Mello, as reported by online portal G1.
This article was republished with permission from Karl-Heinz Huba, the editor and publisher of The Sport Intern.