Dossier: Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro

Dossier: Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro

Building side OlympicsRevitalization of the port in the Olympic city: The new Museu do Amanhã lures attracts visitors, the tram is still under construction.. Photo: Ines Thomssen. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.
Protest against the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Barbara Unmüßig correlates the Olympics with Brazil’s institutional, political and economic crisis. Did the organizers learn a lesson from the World Cup in 2014?

Introduction: Half a million people are expected to visit Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics and Paralympics in August and September. At first glance this will be a huge benefit for the city. But just as for the World Cup in 2014, the city has become a contested space of political and economic interests.

In our dossier we analyze the Games´ financing and sustainability. We report on public security concepts, changes in the city and the evictions of socially disadvantaged groups. We take a look at the organizers´ responsibility to guarantee human rights.


Obscured Costs

Cover: Private Games?

The Rio Olympics have already cost more public money than official numbers show. An analysis by Julia Bustamante and Caio Lima, Instituto Políticas Alternativas para o Cone Sul (PACS).

Costs and Transparency

How much will the Olympic Games costs?Photo: Edition: Marilene de Paula / Source: Bustamante, Julia & Lima, Caio. O que esconde os gastos dos Jogos? PACS: jul/206. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.
Responsibility matrix Olympic and Paralympic Games Barra regionPhoto: Fundação Böll Brasil.
Light Rail Project (VLT) in the Harbour Region of Rio de Janeiro in November 2015

In spite of the maxim transparency and laws requiring free access to information the municipality of Rio de Janeiro owns a lot of information on the Olympic Games.

The demonstrators wonder: Olympia for whom?

With the Olympics Rios city limits are shifted: Instead of fostering the wealth of the population, the municipality opens the way for speculation in real estate.

Public Security

Security as a Commodity

The private security industrie is definitely among the sectors that most benefit from mega events. Within a dubious relationship the security industry does not only supply the Brazilian State with surveillance systems and weapons, it also influences the organization of federal police and military forces.

The legacy of the mega-events

Demonstration in São Paulo end of March 2014. Creator: Mídia NINJA. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

Brazil will host the most expensive World Cup of all time. Around 85 percent of the expenses will be funded with public money. For the first time in history, a multitude of questions are being raised about the real meaning of an international mega-event for the host population. This web dossier was designed to add relevant data regarding the guarantee of people's rights and as offer for critical perspectives about the realities on the ground.

Brazil beat Croatia in World Cup opening match

Marilene de Paula, coordinator for the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation Brazil, analyzes the legacy of the 2014 World Cup.

The football World Cup in Brazil cost the country at least €8.5 billion euros but did not stimulate economic growth. In 2016 the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games are coming to Rio de Janeiro once again. Dawid Danilo Bartelt illustrates how sporting mega-events have established themselves as a business model. The losers are often the host city’s most vulnerable people, democracy and human rights.

Rio 2016 Olympics: The Exclusion Games

The City of Rio de Janeiro is the stage for several projects, now at the preparation of the city for the 2016 Olympic Games. The population of the city has already realized that the project Rio Olympic City, which comprises the developments for the 2014 World Cup, and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as large projects such as Porto Maravilha, will not bring the promised benefits.

cover world cuo for whom and for what

Taking a look upon the legacy of the World Cups in Brazil, South Africa and Germany this publication gives detailed information about the financial, political and social impact of the mega-event. 

The population seems to be increasingly aware of their rights, systematically violated in the name of major sports events, separating them from the spectacle
Orlando dos Santos Júnior

Speculation and eviction in the city

Cover Human rights violations in the Olympic city

The Brazilian non-governmental organization Justiça Global, partner organization of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, released this publication, that intends to be a tool that allows journalists to know the other side of this mega event, which resulted in the aggravation of processes of segregation, control and privatization of public spaces, and extermination of the black, poor population in the city.

SMH 2016: Removals in the Olympic city

What is the relationship between expropriations, removals, new housing developments, security policies and large-scale projects in the Olympic city Rio de Janeiro?

The legacy of the World Cup. The Story of Elisangela

Preparation of Brazil on two mega events

Vila Autodromo Fights Displacement

Sustainability at Olympic facilities?

    Guanabara Bay : Not only the athletes , the local population has been affected by the contamination of the bay

Thanks to superficial cleaning measures plastic waste will probably not disturb the Olympic Sailing Competitions in the Guanabara Bay. A long-term restoration of the bay, however, stays indispensable as Emanuel Alencar illustrates in this article.

Gender relations in Sports

No competition took place in 2012 without female participation instead. Today, women are strongly represented in the competitions. This might suggest that sports have overcome the gender barriers. But there is still much to do.

Dawid Bartelt, Marilene de Paula und Manoela Vianna

Editorial Assistance: Selma Clara Creibich, Karina Merencio, Victor Soriano, Petra Tapia, Julia Ziesche

Translation: Fal Azevedo

Contact: Dawid Bartelt,

Frauen während der Olympischen Spiele 1928 in Amsterdam.

The participation of 4,675 female athletes in the 2012 Olympics – about 45 per cent of all athletes – was a milestone on the way to gender equality.

Pré World Cup 2014 and Olympics 2016

Cartoon criticizing the eviction practice

One the most symbolic cases of Brazil's protest movements against relocation, was the resistance of Vila Autódromo. The historical fight of the community located in the west of Rio de Janeiro, enormously spread around the country.

Graffitti on a house in Belo Horizonte displaying how many families lost their homes due to construction projects for the World Cup

The burden for Brazil's costly stadiums is mainly carried by the habitants of the poorest neighborhoods, the favelas. That the habitants generally had little or no formal education and were insufficiently informed of their rights was exploited by the authorities.

Protesters raising their voices against the expensive cable car for tourists while demanding the completion of all the sanitation work in the Rocinha slum in June 2013

On the night of June 25, 2013, at least 1,000 residents of the Rocinha slum, south of Rio de Janeiro, gathered to protest. They demanded the completion of all the sanitation work in their neighbourhood, instead of an expensive transportation system for tourists.


When created by the end of 2008, the Pacifying Police Units (UPP) was labeled as “unique police force model and came with the promise of a radical change in the state public safety policies".