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Rio tourist
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11/21/2002
15:31:27
Subject: Saftey
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Personal safety is the biggest issue facing private security in Brazil­and for good reason. The homicide rate is 6.4 times greater in São Paulo than in New York or Lisbon, and it is 5.7 times higher in Rio than in New York or Lisbon. Reported robberies and muggings in São Paulo are rising at the rate of 15 percent a year, and a recent study showed that a resident of the city has a one in six chance of being the victim of a violent crime.

In spite of the fact that cities like Rio and São Paulo have roughly 30 percent of their police forces dedicated to investigating crimes, only 2.5 percent are solved, because resources are inadequate. (By contrast, in Japan the percentage of crimes solved is 58 percent, and in the United States it's 22 percent.)

Most crime is limited to the poor areas on the periphery of the city, but this is precisely where many companies have their manufacturing facilities. To address the problem, security managers in Brazil have taken several actions over the past year to ensure the safety of employees. Measures taken include the following.

Executive protection. Armored vehicles, although an expensive measure, have become almost a necessity for top executives working in Brazil. Armoring a vehicle costs between $27,000 and $40,000, and the waiting list is between four and eight weeks for delivery. (Typically, those used in the region are able to withstand up to a .44 magnum handgun.) A company that plans to do business in Brazil should place its order for armored cars early in the planning stages so that they will be ready by the time the facility opens and employees are transferred there.

When executives from a parent company are visiting Brazilian subsidiaries, they routinely receive security briefings before they arrive and are met at the airport by armored vehicles and armed security personnel. Roads can be treacherous. Many companies have had to find alternative routes to travel when driving visiting executives to the facility in Brazil. For example, there are five points along the 20-kilometer Red-Line highway between the Rio de Janeiro International Airport and the center of town where vehicles are at risk of being hit by stray bullets. Many of these shots are fired from assault rifles used in wars between drug lords or battles between gangs and police. In some cases, bored "sentries" of drug enclaves pass the time by firing at passing vehicles. These areas are generally avoided now that they are well known.




Boris
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11/21/2002
15:44:51
RE: Saftey
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Any first hand experience?


Louis
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11/24/2002
12:23:43
RE: Saftey
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Have not been to beloved Brasil and Rio in 5 years, but i do recall on several occasions seeing bodies that were left on the Red Line; as well as across the Niteroi Bridge on the side of the road.

The world is getting worse...Brasil just happens to be on it.


Boris
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11/24/2002
13:01:18
RE: Saftey
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Security situation in Brazil is serious. Still, with a touch of common sense intelligent people could survive in the heat of a battle, while fools perish during a family picnick... of course, there is always bad luck...


Rio tourist
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11/24/2002
14:01:17
RE: Saftey
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I was asked for first hand experience...here it is.

6 years in Br

1. 7 dead bodies, one thrown from a vehicle in front of me, another shot dead on my hotel doorstep, the others on the street, do not know the circumstances, but I saw the bodies.

2. Armed (gun)robery twice, once on the bus the other on the street.

3. Teenagers playing on the cement dividing wall (median) pretending to leap in front of vehicles. When they did this in front of a large transport truck the truck went into a 45'degree slide down the freeway (Dutra) causing several accidents and nearly killing me (motorcyclist).

4. Two attempted robberies from taxi-cab drivers.

5. At a cafe, a jealous Brazilian husband went into the restaurant, snatched a chefs salad knife (very large) then proceeded to threaten his wife and the other patrons and the Argentinian that his wife was apparently flirting with.

6. One of my first experiences...I was sitting at a cafe in Copacabana with the other people in my group, nearly all the patrons were foreigners (Mabs Restautrant) I have since learned that nearly all the Br. women were/are prostitutes there...we all heard ( I did not understamnd at the time)a thief was down the street...we saw a man running...he was in front of the park...about 300 ft away...it would have required a expert marksman with a good scope and rifle to nail this guy, but a Rio policeman pulls his pistol and starts shooting!!!
He did not even use two hands!!!
The man running was in front of a park where old people and families go to spend time (children).
There was no way this imbecile should have even pulled his gun.
We all (all, even the Br. putas & garcons)looked at each other amazed that anyone could be so stupid. A real good impression on the estrangeiros.
The cop, never ran after the guy, he just stayed where he was and we all got the impression that no report would be made, nothing would be done.
Incredible.
I then learned the meaning of third world, the cop was definetly living in another world".

7. I thought the driver was joking when he ordered me to not put my arm on the door sill because someone may hurt me stealing my $20.00 plastic Casio watch. I learned he was serious from other Brazilians.

8. The police pulled me over and demanded to know if I have the right to drive in Rio, I did not but I gave them my expired International Drivers license. They apparently do not understand Portuguese because in Port. it said the ;license was expired; the 20th time I have not been stopped from driving, that is the reason I do not payt the US$30.00 and renew it, why??? The police do not enforce the law, why bother.
The reason they stopped me ????
I learned it was "why are you not swerving between the cars illegally like all the other Br. motorcycle drivers!!! Why are you driving according to the law (lol)!!!!!!!!!

9. Of all the times I have been stopped, never once have the police asked for proof of insurance.

Many other stories, I have several Br. friends, not one of them have any pride in the police or safety compared to the first world.

Now if you want to compare Br. to Angola...let me tell you how I nearly got killed the first ten minutes in that hell hole.


Boris
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11/24/2002
15:56:46
RE: Saftey
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Impressive... looks like trouble finds you...

Now substitute Brazil for the United States, multiply it by ten and shorten time period to a year... It would give you an idea about my experieces back in the States... That's why I feel a lot safer in Rio then back in New York ;)


Jo
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11/25/2002
14:49:40
RE: Saftey
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Well....

I'm in Recife which probably runs second or third in violent crime in the country. ...

I've been working here less than a year, but in that time among my small circle of friends, probably 30 % have had a recent robbery....from robbers who come into dentists' offices, herd everyone into a small room and take their wallets/purses...to kidnapping for whatever you can get out of your bank account while the robber sits in the car with a gun and your child.... Too many of these things happen.

I myself have had pickpockets' hands in my pockets at Carnaval in Olinda (they only got my business card), and was involved with an attempted theft of purses after a concert (classical music yet!) at a university just last weekend. Again, I was fortunate, no weapons were involved. This time I screamed and he quit struggling with my friend for her purse and ran.

But this is not the average U.S. city dwellers' experience...not a middle class city dweller at any rate.

Most of the time...the robbers just want money. They don't want to kill you. At least that's my theory, and even though I find that this is the WORST of Brazil (I'm getting used to lines and crazy bureaucracy), I don't want to leave....Other wonderful things about the country make it worth putting up with...in hopes that one day soon things will change for the better.


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