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Security a priority

RIO DE JANEIRO, October 28- Rio de Janeiro must triple its security outlay ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games, especially to crack down on rampant violence spread by drug gangs, Justice Minister Tarso Genro said Tuesday.
RIO_SKYLINE_His assessment, given at a meeting with Rio authorities, came days after bloody clashes between slum gangs and police left 45 people dead and saw a police helicopter shot down.

"If the current level of public security investment continues as it is, we will not end up with a satisfactory situation," Genro told reporters after talks with Rio governor Sergio Cabral.

"As such, we have to triple the rhythm of work and necessary investment to improve public security and in 2016, we will be prepared."

Questions have been raised around the world about Rio’s preparedness to host the Olympics in seven years’ time given the brutalities that continue to rage in and around its 1,000 slums, around half of which fall under the control of criminal gangs.

But the International Olympic Committee has reiterated its confidence in Rio’s ability to host the event.

Genro said 250 million reais (144 million dollars) had been budgeted by the federal government to help Rio combat its street violence.

Brasilia and Rio’s state authorities have agreed to work more closely to fight drug and arms trafficking, he added.

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