I was excited by the announcement, October 2, that Rio will host the 2016 Olympics and by the sense that this event could be transformational for both Rio and Brazil, and I want to be part of that process. Brazil, known often humorously as "the country of the future" since the phrase was introduced by Stefan Zweig, is fast moving from being an "emerging power," and a Goldman Sachs "BRIC," to becoming a key member of the G-20 and a major power on the world scene, and as such a likely strong ally to the United States and the West. Though a sports event might seem somewhat trivial in that pursuit, sports has been one of the most positive expressions of Brazil's potential greatness and will continue to inspire this still young country. The economic and social potential for these games is huge.
Security at all levels is the key to a successful Olympics. But the games must help rebuild Rio not militarize it. We should not come up with schemes to surround the games with thousands of soldiers as was done at the Pan American Games in Rio, but to civilianize and socialize the effort so that a military solution will be unnecessary, except as a backstop measure.
I served for a total of six years in Rio as US vice-consul, consul and acting Consul General (in addition to the two years as Principal Officer of the US Consulate in Salvador da Bahia) over two decades. I was put in charge of Rio's crime issue at the Conulate General as the Ambassador considered it a political as opposed simply a consular matter. After departing Brazil, I worked closely with Law Enforcement agencies both US and Latin American, as the South American Division Chief, of the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). I was responsible for approval of US credits for the Amazon Surveillance System (SIVAM), a $1.4 billion project won by Raytheon.
I am considering ways in which I can contribute to the success of the Olympics by playing a role in its security, look forward to future opportunities to collaborate and am reaching out to many friends to this end. This will hopfully result in the formation of a security consultancy that will bring to bear many capabilities to assist Rio to have successful and secure games.
It is Rio! Start preparing…