Three months since the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, the “marvelous city,” as it’s known, is unraveling. The state of Rio is broke. It hasn’t been able to pay its bills since long before the games. A federal bailout kept police on the streets and hospitals open while Olympics tourists were in town. But now the money has dried up, and public employees aren’t being paid.
The state government is voting on an austerity package that could slash state workers’ wages and pensions by 30%. That’s triggered violent protests and led demonstrators to briefly storm the state Legislature last month. Meanwhile, crime is surging across the state. From January to October, murders increased by 18%, and street robberies jumped by 48% compared to the same time last year, according to the state’s security institute.