Rio's mayor expresses safety concerns for 2016 Olympics

5:41 AM, Oct 19, 2009   |    comments
Celebration in Rio de Janeiro
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LONDON (AP) -- Rio de Janeiro's mayor says the city has a tough battle ahead combatting security problems ahead of the 2016 Olympics.

The challenges facing mayor Eduardo Paes were underscored by a wave of violence over the weekend which left 14 people dead.

Paes said Monday that Rio has "never hidden our problems."

He told the Global Sports Industry Summit: "We still have a long way to go and what happened this weekend showed that."

A firefight between rival gangs Saturday in a city slum killed at least 12 people and saw a police helicopter shot down. Two suspected drug traffickers were killed in another slum.

Paes said: "We are facing these problems, we are being tough with these problems."

Rio was awarded the games earlier this month.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Associated Press

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