Secretary José Ricardo Botelho is facing perhaps the most important mission of his life as a civil servant. Heading the newly created Special Secretariat for the Security of Large Events, Botelho has the task of ensuring the safety of Brazilians and tourists during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. To this end, he has developed what might be called an obsession: to integrate the security forces of a country with continental dimensions like Brazil. To prove that the goal will be achieved, he draws on History, his other obsession: "People who have a history know where they want to go.”
Our Constitution of 1891 was drafted by a man born in Bahia, Rui Barbosa, and another one born in São Paulo, Prudente de Morais, who was also the first governor of São Paulo. It already provided for an area in the Central Plateau to house the capital of the Republic. On September 7, 1922, President Epitácio Pessoa, who was born in Rio de Janeiro, laid the foundation stone of the new capital in response to the bill drafted by Goiás-born representative Americano do Brasil. In the second half of the 1950s, a man from Minas Gerais brought together people from across the country and founded Brasília. Can there be more integration than that? It there a better example of these people’s capacity to, together, do anything? A nation that builds a capital in such a short time can handle just about any big event," says Botelho.
Integration is the keyword in the Strategic Security Plan prepared for the 2014 World Cup. In addition to ensuring quick responses, the plan provides for an integrated security system that can be left as a legacy to the country. In total, an estimated 45,000 men linked to the security forces will be mobilized, not to mention reinforcements from the Armed Forces and Civil Defense. "The country does not need to create anything new, but just to integrate its existing tools," he said.
Track & Tracing
According to José Ricardo Botelho, the databases of federal and sate security forces will be integrated with the Interpol database, which means connecting Brazil to 188 countries. In addition, the government has already sent documents to the United States, Germany, England, Holland, South Africa, Poland and Argentina requesting information about terrorists, "troublemakers" and hooligans.
"We want to work proactively rather than defensively; hence the importance of technology. We are linking everything so that when a person fitting this profile applies for a visa, for example, we will already have the first barrier in place. But in the case of a country for which an entry visa is not required, when the person gets to our borders he or she will not be allowed into Brazil. But what if he or she does? We are working with state-of-the-art equipment to identify these people. We do not want them among us," says the commissioner.
Technology pervades all discussions of the Security Plan for the World Cup. Teams from the Special Secretariat for the Security of Large Events are visiting he 12 host cities to follow civil works in the stadiums that will be hosting World Cup games. Anti-bomb groups are monitoring the works up to delivery, in order to ensure that no artifacts are hidden inside pillars and foundations.
In addition to security in the stadiums, the Secretariat for the Security of Large Events is keeping a close eye on fan fests. Each host city will have an operational command center with representatives of the police, the Armed Forces, the Fire Department and Civil Defense. There, decision-making promises to be quick. The central command headquarters will be located in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro.
Lisia Gusmão – World Cup Portal