The Aug. 1 article about the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, “Ready or not, Rio to host first Olympics in South America,” contained unfair criticism. It did not take into account the challenges for a developing country to host the Games in a democratic environment where the rules should be strictly followed. The story did not mention that other Olympic Games were affected by the same issue.
The question about the Zika virus should also be placed in perspective as it is an epidemic that could happen anywhere. Brazilian authorities are taking the appropriate measures to fight the disease. With the dry season in Brazil, the risk of contamination by the disease is lower now than in places like Florida. Additionally, a report from the Kaiser Health News published in the Herald (“How a Caribbean island became the prime source of U.S. Zika cases,” July 22) shows that most of the Americans infected by the Zika virus were not tourists and that only a very small number of them contracted the disease in Brazil.
Moreover, the corruption cases mentioned in the story were revealed by judicial investigations, and most of the accused are already being prosecuted. The democratic institutions in Brazil are working and giving an example of how to fight corruption.
It is true that Brazil has undergone a tough economic situation, but the interim Brazilian government has changed the economic policy and is more business-friendly. This should lead to a better macroeconomic scenario for Brazil in the following months.
Although the preparation for the Games are expensive, part of the investment is being used to upgrade the infrastructure of the city, including security measures, transportation and improving the living conditions of its inhabitants.
Despite all challenges, Rio was ready to warmly receive athletes and tourists from all over the world.
Hélio Vitor Ramos Filho,
consul general of Brazil,