24 de março de 2014

Hold Onto Your Wallet In Brazil During FIFA World Cup

Forbes, 24/3/2014

Kenneth Rapoza

A word of caution to football fans heading to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup this June: hold onto your wallets. And your watches. And your sneakers. Robbery is on the rise in Brazil.
In São Paulo, host city to some of the matches, petty thievery started off the year on a criminal high. We’re not talking the usual “roubalheira” (robbery) of corrupt government officials skimming from new soccer stadiums. This is every day Brazilians breaking into your rental car, or swiping your wallet. According to the state’s secretary of public safety, auto theft in January rose 22.7% to 4,635 reported cases. Robbery in general, including petty theft and armed robbery, rose 41.7% from January 2013 with over 13,400 cases reported, or precisely 433 Paulistas getting robbed every day last month.
A young boy in Rio helps himself to another man's wallet as he is being confronted by police.A young boy in Rio helps himself to another man’s wallet as he is being confronted by police.
To put it in perspective, though, the city is home to 11.3 million, so far less than half a percent of the population is getting ripped off by the locals on a day to day basis.
The murder rate in São Paulo city has held relatively stable at 422 homicides in January, up 2% from a year ago.
“We don’t think this is a trend,” Fernando Grella, secretary of public safety, told Estado de São Paulo newspaper on Monday. “We’ve actually seen the murder rate decline over the last 9 months. We need more data.”
The good news is that violent crimes in Brazil are even less common than petty theft. It’s more likely that a tourist wearing socks with sandals on Copacabana beach will have his wallet stolen than he will get beat up at gunpoint at an ATM. However, word to the wise, foreigners need to take extra precaution when carrying cash and making trips to the bank during the month long FIFA World Cup matches.
Brazil is not as gun-happy as Americas, but counts more gun deaths than we do Stateside.
According to the Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies, there were 15.2 million firearms in private hands as of 2010, compared to 310 million guns in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Also, in 2010 the U.S. saw 31,672 gun related deaths while Brazil had 38,892.  With a smaller population, and less firearms in circulation, Brazil is proportionately more prone to gun violence than Americans.

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