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Brazil evicts families for 2016 Olympic Games; GOC Briefs National Federation Presidents for upcoming games

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November 2
8:19 PM 2015

Housing advocacy groups claim that local governments in Brazil are using the Olympics to defend  forced evictions and segregation in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, the Ghana Olympic Committee has held a meeting with National Federation Presidents to prepare towards the2016 Games.

The  385 families in the area were forced from their homes when the city hall ordered their forced eviction to make way for a high-speed bus lane, linking the international airport with Barra da Tijuca, the neighborhood that will host most of the 2016 Olympic Games venues, according to Rio 2016 official website.

Complications over the legal status of the property signifies that they have yet to receive any compensation. And with no money, the family has moved to an area where the rent is affordable, over 30km away from their usual home. "We have no friends here," said Arlette's daughter, Elizabeth. "My mother spends a lot of time just sitting on the sofa, weeping."

According to the figures from Rio's city government, 22,059 families have been resettled since 2009, either because of their homes being known "at risk" or to make way to transport and other infrastructure projects due to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. City hall also insists that the only resettlements related to the Games are those of the 344 families at Vila Autódromo. Many of those families have been relocated to Parque Carioca, a condominium complex 1km away.

But Theresa Williamson, the executive director of the Rio-based NGO Catalytic Communities, stated that the local government is using the pretext of the Olympics to segregate the city. "Wherever there is an Olympics, the level of transparency goes way down," she added. "Whether it's for the new BRT [the Bus Rapid Transit system] or the evictions at Vila Autódromo, the Olympics is the context for all of these resettlements."

Moreover, with less than a year to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the meeting at the GOC's Office at Ridge, Accra served two major purposes. These are to focus on preparation and qualification towards the Olympics, as reported by Peace FM Online.

Ghana's Rio 2016 Chef de Mission, Chris Essilfie gave a detailed briefing to the Federation Presidents. He also gave a presentation on Accommodation, Accreditation, Arrivals & Departures, Doping Control & Medical Services, Sport Entries, Ticketing and Transport.

To date, the meeting targeted the Games Qualification Template details competitions, ranking, location, number of people and the required budget for the qualifiers. The National Federations are also to present the two documents to the Chef de Mission.

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