Rio de Janeiro has hired former New York City mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani as a long-term security consultant to help the city cut crime before the 2016 Olympics. Giuliani is credited with making New York dramatically safer. His aggressive approach to crime-fighting has attracted acclaim, controversy--and international attention. In 2006, officials in Rio De Janeiro modeled their new anti-crime initiative on Giuliani's "Zero Tolerance" plan in New York City, which emphasized thwarting petty crimes (such as panhandling) as well as major offenses. But columnists promise Rudy that Rio, which has one of the highest murder rates in the world, will be different. Last year alone, the city had 4,631 murders to New York's 523. Can "America's mayor" help Rio clean up its act in time for the 2016 Games?
- Good Luck With That At the Rio Times, Harold Emert says Rudy's task "will not be easy: Rio law enforcement officials are currently fighting fire-bombed buses, and gangs using adolescents to transport arms and drugs in a city which the Rio's Mayor Eduardo Peas recently called 'cidade do lixo' (trashland) as reported by O Globo."
- Has Rudy Seen The City of God? First Read's Mark Murray wonders if Giuliani realizes what he's up against. "If you've read Jon Lee Anderson's piece in The New Yorker on the drug violence in Rio -- or if you've seen the movie "City of God" -- you probably realize that Rudy's job there will be MUCH different than cracking down on squeegee-men in Manhattan..."
- More Misery For Rio's Poor At The Reaction, Michael Stickings says Giuliani "put security before civil rights" in New York, and "will be able to get away with advocating however much brutality he likes" in Rio. "He'll fit right in, what with his preference for police crackdowns at the expense of the poor and other undesirables," Stickings writes.
- I Guess This Means He Won't Be Running For Governor The Gothamist's Ben Muessig reports that Giuliani's gig in Brazil "could prove once and for all that Rudy Giuliani isn't seriously considering another run for office."
- Rio's Poor Should Be Concerned Roy Edroso of The Village Voice certainly is. "Yesterday the former Mayor 'visited a slum.' Imagine the poor, terrified families confronted with Rudolph Giuliani -- particularly if he was flashing his awful rictus grin. Please, please, please God, if you love us, let him be kidnapped, and let the collection of his ransom go like that of Tony Quinn in The Happening."