Now that it has been several months since the 2016 summer Olympic games, I think it is time to check up on the country of Brazil. Prior to the Olympics, Rio De Janeiro and Brazil as a whole faced an immense amount of scrutiny over handling issues such as: The Zika epidemic, favelas, and unsanitary living conditions for the Olympians. As these issues, aside from the zika virus, became afterthoughts for many viewers and participants, the Olympics actually became very fun to watch.
Months after, a new reality has set in. Rio de Janeiro is completely broke having relied on the government for all of its funds so that Rio could host the Olympic games. Now that the money from the government has dried up, an austerity package must be put in place. Some of the details within the austerity package include slashing compensation for employees and also pension funds by almost 30 percent.
Many Brazilians who were asked to move from their home in the favelas to another location so that the Olympic stadium could be built are now disgruntled about their new living situations. Some of the residents who have been displaced now live in apartments not far from their demolished homes; while others were compensated and told to find housing elsewhere. Crime also has surged since the Olympic games as police officers lack the proper funding to maintain justice throughout the region. The city of Rio is
struggling desperately as the crime, unemployment, and potential defaulting on payments has created a perfect storm for social and economic turmoil within the region.
Prior to the Olympics, there was a large amount of speculation that the country of Brazil was simply not ready to host such a grand, expensive, event. Due to the Petrobas oil scandal and also the impeachment of Dilma Rouseff, the country did not seem as if it was ready to host another spectacular event (Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup).
To some, the Olympics was seen as a way towards economic progress and maybe even prosperity. As we can see, that is certainly not the case at all. The city and the state alike are now very broken and in debt up to their eyes. The people of Rio are now enduring life with even less money and some are jobless. There have been a series of riots and protests across the city which has forced the Brazilian military to step in and intervene. The infrastructure projects that were promised after the Olympics as a part of the Olympic “legacy” have been all but forgotten at this point. At this point, Rio’s future is quite uncertain. One thing is certain though, Brazil is set to have yet another year in which there is a massive amount of political and economic turmoil.