Prostitution, violence and crime gripping Rio while world watches sporting show
It is billed as the Greatest Show on Earth.
But the glitz and glamour of the Olympics is taking place against a backdrop of a city gripped by violence, vice and crime.
Even as billions tuned in to see the action this week, three men – suspected gang members who rule the city’s favela slums – were shot dead by cops in a gun battle in north Rio.
A patrol of the 85,000-strong security forces brought in for the Games were shot at in the Mare favela after taking a “wrong turn”.
And within walking distance of the Olympic Park, where British stars Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford and Jessica Ennis-Hill are taking centre stage, underage girls sell their bodies, in a city with 12,000 sex workers.
In the infamous Vila Mimosa – City of Tender Love – prostitutes made fliers for the Games, offering “cut-price” sex for 40 reals, or £9, almost half the usual price of 75 reals, or £17.
Vila Mimosa, Rio’s oldest and largest prostitution zone, where 3,000 women offer their services in more than 70 bars, has been hit by the deepest recession in a century.
A flyer printed in English states that an hour’s sex during the Games will cost 60 reals (£13), down from 90 reals (£20), while a threesome is priced at 40 reals (£9) per girl for half an hour, and 80 reals (£18) for an hour.