Mutilated body parts wash up on Rio Olympics volleyball beach

Gruesome discovery is another blow for city facing financial crisis and political turmoil in run-up to games

Police patrol the streets of Rio de Janeiro

Parts of a mutilated human body have washed up on the shore of Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, just metres from where the Olympic Games beach volleyball is scheduled to take place this summer.

Police said a foot and other parts had been found on the famous beach, with the area cordoned off by officers and covered in black tarpaulin close to the new stadium.

The origin of the body parts is unclear, but The Independent reports that the discovery comes after a period of lethal gun battles in Rio's slums when authorities attempted to recapture the notorious drug trafficker Nicolas Labre Pereira.

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The raid to free Pereira, nicknamed "Fat Family", from a hospital left a patient dead, and a nurse and off-duty police officer wounded, on 19 June, adds the website.

The disturbing news follows a protest earlier in the week by police and firemen at Rio's international airport, reports The Guardian. The public service workers claimed their wages had not been paid and warned tourists that they would not be safe in the city, holding up signs reading "Welcome to Hell".

"The financial aspect is the big problem of Rio's public safety strategy," said Andrei Rodrigues, a top security official at the Justice Ministry.

Francisco Dornelles, Rio's acting governor, earlier this month declared a financial emergency in the state because of shortfalls in the budget caused by a recession and a run-up in public expenditures in recent years.

He has declared publicly that the Olympics could be "a big failure" if financing does not come through, but Brazil's federal government has said that it will, according to the Guardian.

An estimated 85,000 police officers and soldiers will be patrolling the streets during the Olympics and Paralympics, but killings in Rio are said to have increased to 2,036 in the first four months of the year, compared to 1,818 for the same period in 2015.

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