Brazil police brace for protests in Rio

Associated Press
A masked demonstrator holds up a sign that reads in Portuguese "No mandatory vote," referring to Brazil's law that citizens are obligated to vote in all elections, during a protest march toward the Mineirao stadium where a Confederations Cup semifinal soccer match will be played between Brazil and Uruguay in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The wave of protests that hit Brazil on June 17 began as opposition to transportation fare hikes, then expanded to a list of causes including anger at high taxes, poor services and high World Cup spending, before coalescing around the issue of rampant government corruption. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian police are carrying out the biggest security operation yet for a football match here, as Brazil plays Spain in the final of the Confederations Cup.

Authorities say 6,000 regular police will patrol near the Maracana football stadium along with nearly 500 investigative officers. About 73,000 fans are expected to attend the match.

Elite federal troops are present, but officials won't say how many. Local media put the number at a few thousand.

The show of force comes after two weeks of anti-government protest across Brazil.

Much of the protesters' ire has been aimed at the billions of dollars Brazil has spent hosting upcoming events such as the World Cup and Olympics.

However, just a few hundred protesters had gathered near the stadium in Rio several hours before the match.